Apple’s latest absolution of the iOS operating arrangement doesn’t appear arranged with a lot of new appearance for companies adorable to rein in the accomplished “bring your own device” stampede. But the few twists Apple has added to iOS 6 will absolutely accomplish it added adorable to organizations that appetite to use the iPad, iPhone, and alike the iPod as business tools—all while befitting users from arena Words with Friends on aggregation time. And, best of all, you don’t accept to be an action with a basal “E” to booty advantage of them.
There were already a agglomeration of paranoia-friendly appearance in iOS, such as abutment for S/MIME defended mail, continued defended passwords instead of 4-digit PINs, and locked-down profiles to accumulate fun (and aegis leaks) at bay. But iOS 6 takes Apple’s credible corporate-friendliness to a accomplished new level. The changes in iOS 6 from a administration angle accord businesses the adeptness to do aggregate from force-loading a corporate-approved wallpaper assimilate the accessory to locking bottomward how it connects to the Web.
Perhaps the better changes are in the akin of ascendancy iOS 6 gives to organizations to lock bottomward devices. These changes are centered on two sets of features: Guided Access, which allows an iPad to be bound into a distinct application; and Supervised Mode, which now gives administrators the adeptness to accomplish abundant changes to iOS accessory aegis and acceptance profiles “over the air” as able-bodied as at bureaucracy time.
While these changes taken as a accomplished don’t necessarily put iOS on par or avant-garde of the aegis of Blackberry or added adaptable operating systems that accept continued been accustomed for action security, they do accomplish iOS a lot added adorable to organizations. Instead of aloof tolerating them as allotment of a “bring your own device” policy, “we’re starting to see organizations appliance these accessories to change the way business is done,” said Ahmed Datoo, the arch business ambassador of Zenprise (a adaptable accessory administration software aggregation that supports iOS). Brian Reed, arch business and artefact ambassador for Boxtone, addition MDM company, said that Guided Admission and Supervised Approach accumulated “are creating what I euphemistically alarm an ‘app device’—a adaptable accessory bound bottomward with one or two apps, and that’s all they run.”
You don’t necessarily charge third-party MDM software to booty advantage of some of these new iOS “enterprise” features. Both Guided Admission and Supervised Approach can be acclimated after affairs any added software, admitting Supervised Approach does crave at atomic a chargeless Mac OS X app. But for some of the added anxiously buried elements of iOS’s aegis management, you’ll charge some added advice from third-party software—or you’ll charge to cycle your own accoutrement to advantage them.
Guided Admission isn’t absolutely an “enterprise” feature. Apple has answer Guided Admission primarily as an apprenticeship affection (it’s labeled as a “learning” affection in the Accessibility card aural iOS 6’s settings). But functions that acquiesce your kid (or your cat) to comedy amateur on your iPad after abhorrence of your assignment e-mail actuality zapped are additionally ideal for ambience an iOS accessory to be angry into a single-purpose appliance. Guided Admission was already attainable for iPad, but iOS 6 now adds that adequacy to iPhones and iPods as well; businesses accept already acclimated it to configure an iPad as a kiosk (like the iPads Apple uses in its stores), as a aggregate app-specific accessory (such as a point-of-sale terminal), or for customer-facing applications. For example, José Andrés’ Jaleo restaurants use iPads to acquiesce barter to adjustment drinks appropriate from a agenda menu; appliance Guided Access, the restaurant keeps barter from aggravating to escape out of the app and drudge the kitchen.
Guided Admission can be configured to assignment with any appliance on the device, locking it into the appliance until a passcode is provided. You can bind areas of the app’s awning (or the accomplished app) from responding to touch, and about-face off responses to the accelerometer as able-bodied to anticipate alternating the awning to try to accretion admission to blocked buttons.
Once you’ve configured Guided Access, it can be activated by triple-pressing the “home” button on the accessory you’re appliance from aural the appliance you appetite to lock it in. You can afresh draw with a fingertip about areas that you appetite to lock bottomward admission to, or about-face off blow or motion. Click the “start” button, and the app will break bound until the home button is triple-clicked afresh and the passcode you configured is entered.
For baby businesses, this is a abundant way to lock bottomward a accessory after a lot of IT abutment appropriate (though a 4-digit passcode is not absolutely the be-all and end-all of adaptable security, to be sure). But Guided Admission can additionally be accidentally configured by administrators appliance the added big breadth of changes to iOS manageability—Supervised Mode.
Apple provided some basal elements of “Supervised Mode” in iOS 5, additionally on the iPad. “The aftermost iOS had some basal agreement you could do to from a Mac,” said Reed, but it could alone be done while the accessory was “tethered” to the Mac via the iPad’s cable. Previously, MDM accoutrement that installed software assimilate an iOS accessory could accomplish abounding of the aegis agreement tasks appropriate to accomplish behavior and iOS accurate agreement changes could be beatific to phones as a amalgamation via an centralized Web articulation or as an e-mail attachment. But there was no congenital way in iOS to do those sorts of things “over the air” after user intervention.
By blame a administration “payload” to a accessory in Supervised Mode, an ambassador can use the Guided Admission affection in its abounding business mode, “App Lock”, and accomplish one appliance the alone affair attainable on the device—launching to abounding awning whenever the accessory is powered up or unlocked. You can assure the app with a abounding alphanumeric countersign that meets your organization’s policies, but the contour with the App Lock agreement will accept to be removed in adjustment for any added appliance to work.
In iOS 6, however, already a accessory is configured in Supervised Mode, it can be reconfigured over WiFi or a cellular connection. To put an iOS accessory into Supervised Mode, you charge to initially configure it with Apple’s Configurator app, downloadable for chargeless from the App Store, or with an MDM amalgamation that performs the aforementioned task.
Configurator itself doesn’t do over-the-air agreement or ascendancy abounding of the added avant-garde administration settings of iOS 6, but it’s apparently able for baby offices breadth there are a few aggregate iPads and iPhones to be apportioned out. What the app does do is lay bottomward the foundation for added accoutrement to do the avant-garde accessory administration by enabling iOS 6’s administration features.
Configurator is advised for the antecedent accessories of accessories in an organization. It allows you to actualize bales of accustomed apps and action settings afresh accredit them to the device. You can additionally use Configurator to pre-load a accessory with specific abstracts and abstracts for specific users or groups of users—as continued as the abstracts are for applications accordant with iTunes book sharing.
You can acceptation apps into Configurator from the Adaptable Applications binder of your iTunes book store. But to arrange apps via a contour to devices, you’ll charge a aggregate acquirement affairs cipher from Apple for the paid ones. Apple has anchored a antecedent bug actuality with chargeless apps—it acclimated to be that VPP codes were appropriate for everything, and chargeless apps acutely don’t accept aggregate acquirement agreements absorbed to them. Now you can arrange chargeless apps at will.
Installing administration assimilate an iOS accessory basically sets you aback to footfall one, reinstalling iOS 6 with the appropriate hooks for supervision. If it’s an absolute accessory with applications you appetite to keep, or if you appetite to use a specific accessory bureaucracy as a arrangement for a supervised iPad, iPhone or iPod, you can accomplish a advancement of the accessory first. In best cases, you’ll appetite to nuke the accomplished arrangement and assignment from a abject iOS install for your absolutely managed accessory anyway.
If you’re aloof blame behavior over to someone’s absolute accessory they brought into work, Supervised Approach is apparently not the avenue you appetite to take—this is advised added for company-issue gear. But you can acquiesce a user to install the apps they’ve purchased themselves assimilate a accessory from the iTunes store—and afresh aback they accompany it back, re-apply a contour and clean them aback to their basal appliance set.
Virtually every aspect of iOS 6 can be controlled or tweaked by administrators with Configurator profiles, including a few new settings that are new in iOS 6, admitting not all of them are attainable from the accepted adaptation of Configurator (which was appear in August). To booty abounding advantage of appearance like these, you’ll either charge an MDM belvedere that has been adapted for iOS 6, or you’ll charge to cycle your own deployment arrangement to arrange agreement profiles via a URL. This is advantageous for, for example, sending out that App Lock contour and afresh accepting it automatically be angry off so the accessory can be acclimated with added applications at the end of a day after accepting to anon administrate the device.
One of those new settings is the adeptness to configure an HTTP all-around proxy to ascendancy a user’s Web admission whether they’re on the bounded arrangement or abutting over a cellular network. This allows a aggregation to do agreeable clarification both agency from the device—performing abstracts accident blockage by blocking acute advice activity out, and blocking admission to sites and casework that either are aegis risks or breach acceptance polices.
You can now additionally block users from installing agreement profiles, as able-bodied as affidavit certificates, on their own—preventing them, for example, from re-installing an old contour sitting in their e-mail. This additionally prevents users from installing profiles from added domains assimilate their iOS accessory (and possibly affective abstracts from your action to addition else’s).
Another absorbing new administration affection is the self-destructing profile. Administrators can put an cessation date on the affidavit for a user profile, and lock it to anticipate a user from removing or alteration it. Alike if the accessory isn’t affiliated to the network, iOS 6 will expire admission at a specific time. That means, for example, you could accredit admission privileges to a actuality for a specific project, such as centralized servers and e-mail accounts, and afresh accept their admission to applications expire aback a activity is appointed to be over after accepting to accelerate a agreement change to the device.
The new appearance of iOS 6 all appear with a assertive bulk of lockdown-ability. For example, administrators can shut off admission to Messenger, or force the use of SMS instead of iMessage to accelerate texts (a affection that will address to bodies in industries breadth the words “e-discovery” get befuddled about frequently). FaceTime, the devices’ camera, and added communications appearance can be bound bottomward as well.
And, of course, for companies that appetite to abolish any abeyant aisle for claimed use or corruption of iOS devices, all of the new fun and acceptable appearance of iOS 6 appear with congenital locks as well. The Passbook app, Photo Stream, Game Center, and iBookstore can all be blocked by policies. Added advanced admins can aloof bind what users can download from the iBookstore, blocking agreeable tagged as “erotica” (sorry, Fifty Shades of Grey fans).
All of these appearance should accomplish straight-laced, buttoned-down organizations a little added adequate with the abstraction of appliance iPads and iPhones as accustomed accumulated tools. They additionally advance iOS added into the abundance breadth for bloom care, education, and added types of organizations that accept already accepted the iPad. Ultimately, this brings the iDevices afterpiece to actuality an according with accustomed accumulated accessories like the RIM Blackberry.
That akin of “good enough” may not accord Apple abundant in the way of aloof rights. But it absolutely could put addition attach in RIM’s casket in the action bazaar and accomplish the advance affairs for Windows 8 Phone in this breadth very, actual shaky.
Listing angel by Sean Gallagher
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