OS4 SDK Insights: Making the iPhone More Enterprise Friendly

Nice article from Tom Parish on OS4 SDK Insights: Making the iPhone More Enterprise Friendly. Tom presents some insights on  the OS4 SDK for the iPhone. – Bill

I was perusing some blog posts and found an article from Techendeavour ’s Ramanda Shetty titled “Deep Dive into iPhone 4.0 Features“. I am extremely curious what is possible to build with this new SDK so I can provide more strategic insights to clients who are asking about a business strategy and marketing strategy that includes or really requires an iPhone app.   You’re going to like what you see here.

This is the first nuts and bolts blog posting I have seen that gives practical insights as to what is possible with the new SDK from Apple. The iPhone 4.0 SDK (software development kit) promises the ability to do multitasking and customizable desktop displays and other goodies. However under the hood there are  quite a new API’s (application program interfaces) that provide data protection for third party apps, core telephone capabilities,acces to calendar events, the ability to compose and send a SMS message from a third party app (nice) and location notification.

This last one, location notification, gives a user the ability to schedule notification of an event based on their current location. Remember the new 4.0 (OS) operation system give you the ability to have multiple applications running. This location notification will be delivered to an app whether the app is running or not. Once the notification is scheduled the system will manage these notification without the need for going over the Internet to access a server.  I’m think this might be useful to remind me to do certain things when I get home after being gone all day. The iPhone will recognize I’m getting near the house and up pops this notification to remember to pay a bill that night. You get the idea.

Shetty’s article also has a section called ‘Improvements Towards Making iPhone Enterprise Friendly’.  By the way if you’re just catching up on the OS4 updates you’ll want to check out the high level review at Apple first.

Mobile Device Management:

Deploying and managing enterprise applications will be lot more easier with iPhone OS 4. New Mobile Device Management APIs can be integrated with third-party solutions to wirelessly configure and update settings, monitor compliance with corporate policies, and even wipe or lock managed iPhone device.

Seems like this feature has not provided in the current Beta release. See the release note “Mobile Me” section. (will need Apple Developer login for access)

Wireless App Distribution:

iPhone OS 4 enables enterprises to securely host and wirelessly distribute in-house apps to employees over Wi-Fi and 3G. Apps can be updated without requiring users to connect to their computers.

SSL VPN Supports:

SSL VPN support in iPhone OS 4 gives users another way to securely access enterprise resources. These new protocols can even be leveraged to connect seamlessly to a corporate network via VPN on Demand. Forthcoming apps from Juniper and Cisco will support SSL VPN on iPhone.

Multitasking:

With the multitasking support for the new OS release iPhone apps can do few of the processes from the background but not all. Application can finish the current task before going to suspended states giving the expiry time period. Local Notification is an advantage of background process.

For those wanting to delve into strategies for enterprise mobility there is another excellent article that does a deep dive on “Native Mobile Apps versus Mobile Web Apps” where Avinash Birnale discusses the tradeoffs between these two approaches. The article saved me a great deal of time having to find this out myself on a recent project. Recommended reading if you are just getting on how to persue a broad based enterprise mobility strategy.

Tom

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