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What iOS 7 means for enterprise developers

Steve Sande, @stevensande
August 15, 2013
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Apple's latest mobile operating system, iOS 7, is nearing release, and over at VentureBeat, Solstice Mobile CEO J Schwan offered up a guest post positing that iOS 7 is "the most noteworthy iOS upgrade since the iPhone first hit the market in 2007." Schwan is taking the view that "organizations that do not take advantage of iOS 7's new enterprise features will end up serving an outdated app experience to a market of future-hungry end users."

Schwan points out that there are significant benefits to quick adoption of iOS 7 for enterprise developers. Enterprise Single Sign-on will both increase security in the enterprise, as well as make it much easier for users to access corporate data assets. AirDrop Sharing for Apps is seen as a way to use real-time document and content sharing for more efficient use of sales, presentation and collaboration tools.

Apple's take on Low Energy Bluetooth, known as iBeacon, will enable things like indoor navigation (helping to navigate large buildings or campuses), device presence awareness (what devices / people are in the area right now) and the ability to have location trigger workflow tracking.

Schwan sees the "scan to acquire Passbook passes" capability of iOS 7 as a huge potential boon to the company and mobile marketing as well. Apple has over 575 million iTunes customers on file, most of whom link credit cards to those accounts. Should the company be able to integrate mobile payment into Passbook and connect to those credit cards, the sky is the limit for iOS-based mobile commerce.

In his post, Schwan also notes that the UI changes in iOS 7 really put content over aesthetics. That gives developers an opportunity, especially in the enterprise, to really make it possible for users to focus on critical tasks instead of navigation. As Schwan concludes, "Enterprises that put the work in now to prepare for the September release of iOS 7 will be ahead of the game."

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