Could the third time be the charm for the Beta 3 version of Apple's latest operating system upgrade, iOS 7?
At least one solution provider anxiously waiting to get his hands on Beta 3 says Apple's latest effort holds more promise for business users.
Aaron Freimark, CTO of Tekserve, a New York-based Apple reseller and solution provider, said he has been testing iOS 7 extensively and has high hopes for what the new operating system will mean for his customers. "Apple has done some great things for business, specifically in iOS 7. It has more changes than I've seen since they introduced [Mobile Device Management]," Freimark said.
At its release at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco four weeks ago, Apple called iOS 7 the "most significant iOS update since the original iPhone."
In the weeks following its debut, iOS 7 already has seen two facelifts, iOS 7 Beta 2 released two weeks ago, followed by the third iteration, iOS 7 Beta 3, released Monday.
So far, authorized Apple developers have been the only ones to get their hands on the fast-evolving new operating system, which has a few more bugs to work out before being released to the public, according to a report from Apple Insider.
Beta 3 quelled a number of problems specifically related to messaging, push notifications, iCloud Keychain, AirPlay and Newsstand, according to Apple Insider. Other issues that have not yet been resolved in Beta 3 include bugs in the Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Safari and Passbook apps, among others, according to the report.
Despite the kinks that still need to be addressed, Freimark expressed excitement about iOS 7 capabilities, which he said will provide opportunities for enterprise users they have never seen before. The ability to create separate virtual spaces for business and personal use on iOS 7 devices was one change Freimark noted as significant. "IOS 7 introduces a new feature to restrict what apps you can open in each space," Freimark said.
According to Freimark, it is possible to use managed apps to access business documents or information while at the same time restricting important information from being copied or sent somewhere it was not intended to go, like an unauthorized file share. "That's going to be a real game-changer for some highly regulated environments," he said.
Freimark said the biggest change he foresees is the way Apple will now treat apps as licenses, particularly relevant for businesses. "In the past, licenses were effectively gift cards. A business could buy an app and give it to a user and that user could download and use it. The thing about licenses is you can revoke and transfer them whenever you want. I could give you an app for work, even if it's a very expensive custom app, if you leave the company, the company can now get the app back, and they've never been able to do that," Freimark said. He also said apps could be distributed for even shorter periods of time, like during a meeting, and then revoked and used by someone else at a later date.
Even though Apple does not have a history of focusing largely on business needs through its marketing efforts, Freimark says he believes iOS 7 was intended to make a bigger business splash.
"This is a new language for Apple," Freimark said. "They probably won't admit this, but I am hearing 'business first and then education' whereas in Apple's history, it has always been the other way around, education first and then business."
PUBLISHED JULY 10, 2013