For this week’s Guest Post Friday at Musings, we welcome back Martha Sperry for another great tech related guest post. Martha (@advocatesstudio on Twitter) is an attorney with extensive experience in the insurance industry. Martha also maintains a research and writing practice, AdvantageAdvocates with emphasis on research and written product for professionals and web consulting. Her blog on law, research, writing and technology Advocate’s Studio. Martha also has let Musings invade the Studio today, so please check it out!
So great to be back at Construction Law Musings with another techie post for my good friend Chris Hill and his awesome readers. He stopped by my blog, Advocate’s Studio, to drop his wisdom today so please visit and check out his great post. We periodically like to storm each other’s blogs and surprise the readers, and Friday seemed as good a day as any to shake things up.
I didn’t have to think too hard and long about what to write about – the big news over the past couple of weeks has been Apple’s new iPhone 5 and the introduction of iOS 6, which just dropped Wednesday, just in time for delivery of the new iPhone today.
As with all Apple products, there is the lingering question: will this work for my business interests? Professionals still appear to have that preference for standard business stock tech – Microsoft software, Blackberry hardware. And with the new Windows Phone 8 and integration with desktop products, the options for mobile computing for business are getting better all the time. Business consumers faced with the ability to BYOD (“bring your own device”) to their work and business owners who have all the options available have some good choices, but tough decisions.
Can Apple keep up with it and overcome the moderate anti-business persona that still seems to plague it?
What Apple is bringing to the table hardware-wise is a much faster processor and more screen real estate, yet still competent battery life. Lots of moving, shifting and shrinking internally to make this work. There also is going to be 4G LTE access for all, and much better WiFi so that you can really take advantage of that faster processor with lightning fast access. Faster is definitely better in the working world.
Physically speaking, the downside is a new nano-SIM that won’t work with any other device, so portability of SIM information is an issue. Another downside is a new proprietary connector that won’t readily work without an expensive adapter.
Software-wise, the new Passbook feature looks very promising for business travel. Store tickets, cards and other information within Passbook and get that information right away on your lock screen, so that you can easily pass from one gate to the next. It’s location aware, so when you get to the airport, Passbook will note it and pop your ticket up on the screen. Another nice add is the ability to run the Facetime video calling feature now over cellular – there is no excuse now for lack of a “face to face” meeting with other Apple device users.
While the new Maps feature in iOS6 sounded really great in the send-up, there appears to be a lot of grumbling about it in practice. Illogical points of interest, downright wrong directions and somewhat bumpy performance are marring it in the reviews. Turn by turn directions and 3d mapping sound really great in theory, but apparently are not so great in practice. There is still promise – I like the idea of being able to ask Siri for local points and get mapping to them, so my jury is still out on Maps. Also I have no doubt that Apple will hurry some improvements. The better news though is that Google has announced it will come out with an iOS mapping app so eventually you will get back your transit directions and access to Google’s far better maps features. So put the mapping ability on hold for the time being.
VIP email filters will give you faster access to more important emails – a plus when you are needing to keep close tabs on certain senders. Also, you will be able to flag certain messages to find them more easily. Better social integration across apps means it will be easier to tweet and update Twitter and Facebook, if you are a social kind of pro. Guided Access limits users to certain apps and disables some buttons, so the enterprise can control some of the activity on the device. IT will also be able to load a logo or other proprietary image as the device’s lock screen or background and make it so that it cannot be changed.
While new enterprise-friendly features have been built into the new software, there is no doubt that third parties will come in to fill the void as more and more workers demand iPhones for their mobile options.
New calling features will help workers too – the Do Not Disturb feature blocks incoming calls and notifications for a period you designate. Your alerts and your notifications will be queued for delivery once the time expires. You can allow certain calls through the DND if you really need to hear from a particular someone. Maybe you want to get a message out while you are in that important meeting – you will be able to respond without answering as iOS 6 has a new Reply with Message feature. You can send the call to voice mail, but have a text message go out to the caller to let them know you are aware of the call and that you will get back to them. There also is a new Remind Me Later feature that will remind you either an hour later or when you leave your current location to call the caller back.
So while the Enterprise was not front and center in Apple’s mind when designing the new iPhone and OS, clearly there are features that make it more agile in a business setting. If you already own and use the iPhone you will definitely appreciate the adds when you update and/or upgrade. If you aren’t an Apple device user, some of these new features may persuade. Either way, it’s a win-win for Apple and hopefully the business consumer too.