Automatic HotSpot

iOS 8 Brings Significant New Enterprise Features; Here's a Summary

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I've been going to Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference for many years, and this is one to remember. Not only are there a ton of new features for Mac and iOS, but this was perhaps the first WWDC with a section dedicated to Enterprise. ENTERPRISE! On Apple's biggest stage of the year. Excuse me while I take a moment.

Thank you.

OK, so in no particular order, here are some of my favorite enterprise features in iOS 8. It isn't the only list — see Apple's own list and Ryan Faas's too, among others. And there may or may not be additional features hiding within the Apple Developer Pre-Release Library.

  • Continuity — silently create an Automatic HotSpot among Macs, iPads and iPhones, and stuff just flows between them. What stuff? iMessages already did this trick but now SMS messages do too. Web pages. Draft emails. Notes. Oh, and phone calls! You can now make calls from your Mac or iPad that quietly route through your iPhone to the carrier. I'm sure there is more here. This is a big feature. The Mac is now an accessory to your iPhone.

  • Plugins for Shared Storage — this has the potential to be huge. Effectively connects any app to your enterprise document store for opening and saving.

  • Interactive Notifications — Now you can respond to SMS messages & calendar appointments without leaving the Notification Center. More exciting, developers can create their own notification center plugins called Widgets. Lots of possibilities here.
  • Improvements to Mail — New gestures, multiple windows (well, almost), VIP lists, per-message S/MIME controls, out-of-office controls

  • QuickType — Not only predictive spelling, but predictive words and phrases too. Will pump new life into Damn You Autocorrect.
  • Pluggable Keyboards — This one has me excited. For starters, I want to see this 2012 keyboard concept see the light of day.
  • Exchange Calendar improvements — free/busy (yay!)

  • Group Messaging improvements — Big improvements here, and this may replace similar systems for small-team communication. iMessage has proven to be quite secure.
  • Expanded Data Protection — In addition to Mail, more of Apple apps are now encrypted (when you use a passcode): Calendar, Contacts, Reminders, Notes, and Messages.
  • Managed Books and PDFs — automatically push these documents to managed devices
  • New MDM Tools — Set device name, check last iCloud backup time, certificate-based SSO
  • Use TouchID in Apps — Use your fingerprint instead of your password. Note this isn't necessary more secure, but it's quicker

iOS 8 Beta is available today from the Apple Developer Site. It is scheduled to be publicly released this Fall (Northern hemisphere, we assume). It will run on all devices down to iPhone 4S (not 4) and the three-year-old iPad 2.

What did I miss? Comment below. And if you are in San Fran tomorrow, join me us at [annual WWDC meetup!

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