Apple iOS 9.3 brings a slew of improvements and fixes. There’s a lot in it for the enterprises as well. Let’s see what the new features are and how they can be useful to enterprises.
Home Screen Layout
This feature enables admin to customize the home screen of the devices based on user’s role. Admin can enforce certain icon positions and make them undeletable. With fixed home screen layout and the ability to restrict app usage, solutions become easier to deploy to individuals who are less tech savvy or who get distracted easily.
Use case: This can help companies create a consistent user experience across all the devices. May come in quite handy in case of supervised devices, especially in Kiosk mode.
Lock Screen Message
A custom message can be displayed on the lock screen of iOS 9.3 devices. IT admin will be able to configure the message from the MDM.
Use case: This text can be used to print branding information for the company. Another simple use case of this feature can be to locate a lost/misplaced device. Show a lock screen message like “If found, call xxxx” on lost devices from the MDM.
With this feature, an iOS device can be locked and disabled from use. When lost mode is invoked on the device, it starts to report its geolocation to their MDM server even if location services are disabled on the device.
Use case: Loss or Theft of devices is an important concern to every enterprise. This feature can help admins locate the device easily. Also, using the Lock Screen message, admin can display a message on the device with instructions on how to return it.
App Whitelist and Blacklist
This features enables blacklisted apps from being shown or launched. This is even applicable to the built-in apps. Also, you can specify a whitelist of apps which are the only ones that the users can launch.
Use case: These capabilities target any organizational use cases where stringent controls over the apps are required. Like, this can be used by companies to stop their employees from using corporate devices for personal use. It could be used in education to disable inappropriate applications from being used on student’s devices.
Multi-user support for iPad
This will allow multiple users (or Apple IDs) to share an iPad. Whenever a user logs in, all his personal information and apps will appear on that iPad. This is implemented with a caching feature that makes all the user’s environment available immediately without re-downloading everything again.
Use case: This feature can be useful to numerous verticals like healthcare, retail, and education. Sharing of devices will save resources for the organizations.
With this change, admin can now have granular control over notifications. They can specify which application gets which type of notifications. The idea is to be less distracted and more productive.
Use case: Companies will be able to control message types for apps based on their priority or the data that they carry. Like for apps which may carry sensitive or confidential data, the admin may choose to turn off Notifications.
There are few new restrictions added which can be configured by the admin if needed. These include preventing users from changing notification settings, to disallow end users of supervised devices from saving passwords locally for specific URLs or disallowing users to use Apple Music service or iTunes.
Use case: Companies can save additional data costs which might be used by employees in streaming music etc.
Education features – A few new features are added to iOS 9.3 which will open up a different world of possibilities for educators.
This app is for the classroom teachers who can check student’s progress and share student work through this. They can see every iPad screen in the class and use remote control to launch any app or website on the student’s iPad. They can lock specific apps in the student’s devices to keep their attention in class using this application. There are many more features in this app which are sure to change the classroom experience for both teachers and students.
Apple school manager
This is a web portal for the administrators to create Apple IDs and buy apps and books. Once signed up for Apple School Manager, you can perform every task like assigning devices to an MDM, purchasing apps, learning materials, and creating accounts for the students from this portal very easily.
Managed apple IDs
Allows you to create and manage accounts for everyone at school – students and teachers. These IDs enables your students and staff to access all the Apple services while providing administrators with the controls they need. Managed Apple IDs can be generated from Apple School Manager. They are designed specially to meet the needs of the education industry.
There are a lot of exciting features in iOS 9.3 which will give enterprises more control over their employee’s devices. A judicious use of most of these can help get things done more efficiently.