In recent years, iOS has been at the back of the pack for innovation in mobile operating systems. If iOS is going to remain a heavy hitter, it needs a serious overhaul in the upcoming version 7. Here are the top 10 things it needs to have to hit it out of the park.
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10. Mobile Application Management APIs
Apple spawned a large Mobile Device Management industry when it created an MDM API for iOS. (Perhaps "created" is generous. The API is essentially a clone of the BlackBerry MDM API.)
But MDM, as defined in Apple's API, is inadequate to the task of truly securing these devices and the industry has moved on to new techniques, including MAM (Mobile Application Management), TEM (Telecom Expense Management) and session virtualization, all of which are sometimes referred to collectively as EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management). Companies like Good Technology, MobileIron, AirWatch, Zenprise and Apperian all provide tools for developers and IT to secure the use of iOS devices in more sophisticated ways.
The problem with this is twofold: The EMM products all work within severe constraints set by Apple, which won't allow apps into the app store if they employ certain techniques like remote control of the phone. Apple may be able to raise the security level of all enterprises by building some of these EMM techniques into the OS and exposing APIs to qualified developers.
The second problem is the incompatibility of all the implementations, a problem we have mentioned recently. If Apple were to set a standard for a secured app, or build security interfaces right into the package format, this would be good for customers.
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