What Apple's iPhone X, Apple Watch and Apple TV Releases Mean For The Enterprise

Image: From images supplied by Apple

Apple's new iPhones, the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X (pronounced iPhone Ten) have been announced along with a new Apple TV that can do 4K content and a new Apple Watch with integrated cellular comms. What's all this mean for the enterprise? I take a look at some of the features that the new devices and updated operating systems bring.

Time to update security policies and procedures

The shift away from Touch ID in the iPhone X is one of the main changes. Assuming your security policy includes procedures for ensuring devices automatically lock and are passcode locked, you'll potentially need to test and then write appropriate policies to support facial recognition.

As well as being an IT security issue, you might need to bring the finance team up to speed if your corporate credit cards support Apple Pay.

Also, a new feature, that forces the use of a passcode by pressing the power button five times, has been added. Presumably, this is to thwart US laws that make it unlawful to force someone to reveal a password but OK to unlock a device using a biometric measure.

Your security awareness training for users that travel frequently should include that new feature.

New opportunities for app developers

The new Super Retina display offers more screen real estate than any previous iPhone and that means mobile enterprise apps can take advantage of the ability to display more data, more clearly than before.

A lot has already been said about Apple's efforts to bring augmented reality to the iPhone. The ARKit framework means developers can look for new ways to integrate data into the real world. Developers can start looking at new ways to use the updated hardware in the new phones - Apple has improved the gyroscopes, cameras and other useful components for AR - and create new applications that bridge the gap between data trapped in databases, manuals and other sources with what';s happening in the real world.

The larger display on the iPhone X is also able to display content at far greater clarity allowing for more detailed integration between data and real world objects.

Maybe some folks will not need a phone

I'm yet to try watchOS 4, but if Apple gets the software right - and, so far, watchOS has been a moving feast of messy UI elements and challenging OS navigation - then it's possible some people will not need an iPhone at all.

Adding cellular comms to the Apple Watch seems like a look into a future where people no longer carry a smartphone and rely on a wearable device for communication and collaboration.

For enterprises, you'll want to look at what your carrier is doing with regards to second SIM plans as this morning's keynote indicated carriers will be able to issue a second SIM card that will work with one number. In other words, the Apple Watch and iPhone will both ring when someone calls you.

Is the Apple TV 4K a boardroom trojan horse?

With the Apple TV getting 4K capability, I was hoping it would also get a camera interface so it could be used with collaboration apps such as Skype, FaceTime and others.

I know of a few boardrooms that have Apple TVs set up to make presentations easier and to share video and other content but they end up having to cobble together something else for video-conferncing and remote collaboration.

With Apple seeming to be keen on building enterprise credibility through partnerships with Accenture, IBM and others, it would give them a significant boost if their brand was already part of the boardroom.

Companies would be interested, I think, given the new Apple TV costs just $250 for the 32GB version.

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