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What does iOS 7 bring to the BYOD party?

Tom Kaneshige | Aug. 27, 2013
Apple's first rule about enterprise features: 'You don't talk about enterprise features.' While you may not hear it from Cupertino, BYOD features abound in iOS 7 and, according to AirWatch's Blake Brannon, they are 'as innovative as we've seen from Apple.'

The new model allows the company to retain ownership of that license and to remove it from the employee's personal phone when they leave the organization. Any BYOD features in iOS 7 flying under the radar?
Brannon: There's a ton around what Apple calls "supervised devices." There are several advanced features that allow you to have more robust control over devices. These primarily work more for corporate-owned devices than BYOD.

I am under [non-disclosure agreement], so I'm trying to be cautious about what information is public and what is not. A new feature is setting up things like printers or airplane destinations for the device. So, for example, you can lock down a device so that it mirrors to a certain Apple TV in a retail store or a student in a classroom. It allows you to deploy those devices, but still have the control to prevent tampering or use outside of the role they're intended to be used for. Is there anything missing in iOS 7?
Brannon: There are always features on the [wish list]. The one that sometimes comes up is around operating system control. In the grand scheme of things, it's not really a feature you're going to use, especially in BYOD. But being able to prevent or enforce the OS version sometimes is a scenario for line-of-business devices. That's not necessarily something we saw in iOS 7. Does iOS 7 reduce Airwatch's value proposition?
Brannon: I get this question a lot. Absolutely not. [What] Apple builds around these features are really APIs that are dependent upon MDM to enable. Just because they create an API that allows you to control "open with" doesn't mean that the feature is turned on without a management tool. If anything, all of these new features grow our business and expand our market scope, in terms of the ability to manage different devices for different scenarios. Is iOS 7 way ahead of the game, in comparison to Android?
Brannon: iOS 7 allows you to do BYOD in more of a native experience on the device, whereas the Android path is built around doing BYOD in a containerized way.

There are absolutely manufacturer-specific APIs that allow you to do native mail client, native policies on select manufactured Samsung HTC, Motorola-type devices. But as a whole on the Android front, you're seeing a little more adoption around BYOD containerization.

It's a philosophical divide in some scenarios. In some cases, people want [containerization] because it feels more separate, more isolated. Other people feel it's hindering and makes them less productive. They'd rather see work and personal calendars and contacts integrated.


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