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10 iOS 7 features that could make enterprises smile

Matt Hamblen | June 14, 2013
Apple downplays enterprise capabilities early on, though expert finds several promising enterprise tools in updated iPhone OS

"What's cool about AirDrop is its ability to share pictures, directions and contacts within custom apps," Schwan said. "If I have a custom app to use to present reports to employees, I can now proximity share that information with anybody in the room, which streamlines the experience" compared to what you do today.

Schwan said a financial advisor could show a customer his investment portfolio, with the data moving to and from an iOS device. "I could go through a prospectus and with just a tap or two, I could directly share information with my client without going outside that app experience," Schwan said. "The data that is structured to a specific app will mean I can send data that my app understands.

Schwan said that AirDrop could prove to be a more seamless sharing tool than Android Beam. He also noted that AirDrop means Apple doesn't have to support NFC — at least not yet — for data sharing. Apple may eventually adopt NFC for mobile payments as a secure technology, he added.

"Apple is continuing to come up with technologies that don't require NFC," Schwan said. "AirDrop shows that NFC is less likely on Apple's immediate roadmap. NFC is a great technology and will be a part of the machine to machine revolution, but Apple doesn't seem to be jumping on it yet."

Solstice customers are asking for NFC in devices running iOS and other platforms, as well as for apps that make use of NFC, Schwan said. "Apple's payment strategy has yet to be uncovered," he said.

The iOS 7 update also lets users scan QR codes to get Passbook passes such as coupons or other customer incentives, Schwan said. "That's another feature that Apple's providing that doesn't require NFC," he said.

Gold is concerned that while data sent over AirDrop is encrypted, there is still the potential for a loss of corporate data. "We all know that security in wireless gets broken," Gold said.

5. Multi-tasking APIs.
Enterprise developers can write apps that keep content up to date when the app is running in the background. This feature got a big cheer from the WWDC crowd. Schwan said it will improve the experience by allowing a user to move to another app while the update proceeds.

Gold said that multi-tasking of apps could prove very beneficial to enterprises as many corporate users must run two or more apps at once. "But done badly, this approach could really burn through a device battery very quickly," he said. "We need to see how this is implemented and how well it works."

6. Viewing of PDF annotations.
This innovation allows a user to see annotations inside a PDF without using a third party PDF reader. The feature is great for collaboration, Schwan said.


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