In many ways, Apple stumbled into the business market when it launched the iPhone. Whether this was by design, or on purpose, when the iPhone took off, driven by the App Store, it was business leaders that were partly responsible for bringing the technology into the business market.
Early into the life of the iPhone, Apple announced its surprise at the way in which the business market had embraced iOS.
For the past few years, the company has focused increasingly on adding features that businesses need, making iOS devices easier to manage, more secure and more powerful in enterprise.
With its big event last night, here are the ways Apple is aiming to target businesses:
With watchOS 2, Apple Watch can work independently from the phone. This means that even if your phone isn’t connected to the same Wi-Fi network, you can make or receive calls, SMS or iMessage, E-Mail or use any of the 10,000 apps created for Apple Watch so far.
The Apple Watch may not be for everyone at the moment, but with watchOS 2, businesses will be able to utilise apps to provide employees with greater access to information.
In one example shown on stage, AirStrip is an app that provides doctors with access to patient data on the doctor’s Apple Watch. This means they can access live information about patients and review recent history. If the Watch leaves the doctor’s wrist, authentication to the app is disabled, making it useless to anyone else – there is big disruption that could come out of this type of idea across industries.
The big news of the night, for businesses, was the iPad Pro. Measuring in at 12.9”, the iPad Pro is the closest thing to a traditional PC replacement that Apple has released to date.
With the millions of apps available on iPad, Apple knows that many businesses rely on its mobile devices as a tool for a large portion/majority of its workforce. The iPad Pro delivers everything that many SMEs will need in terms of productivity apps (Microsoft was even bought out on stage to demonstrate how Office will work on the iPad Pro).
It’s the business market that Apple is chasing with the iPad Pro, though it will also likely become a laptop replacement for consumers. The iPad Pro delivers faster processing capabilities than 80 per cent of the portable PCs that shipped over the past year.
Yet, it also comes with all the apps that people love on their iOS devices. Due to the size of the screen, people can run two apps side-by-side, with one being the full size of a portrait iPad Air.
It’s a powerhouse tablet designed for a range of business scenarios. For designers, architects, engineers and teachers, the iPad Pro, with the Apple Pencil (it’s advanced stylus), the iPad Pro will be the perfect device. As with everything, it is the apps that will make this device useful or not.
Read more about how Apple and apps are transforming business:
- Beacons: How this new technology will change sales forever
- Mobile apps: Don’t forget about HTML5
- The Steve Jobs ripple effect
Apple fundamentally changed the way people interact with phones with multi-touch, when it released the iPhone.
Now, it is trying it again with 3D Touch. 3D Touch is essentially shortcuts for the phone to do what you need to do even more quickly than before. It’s not as fundamental a change as multi-touch, but it will make using mobile devices that bit quicker and that bit easier.
Apple is billing the iPhone 6S as the most advanced smartphone in the world, and that’s likely true. Apple has the best selection of apps, the best support for business and a tight integration between its software and hardware.
All of Apple’s news this year is focused around helping businesses to be able to do more with technology and making the life of users that much easier.
The Apple Watch could well end up being the big story in a year’s time, as it becomes a tool which helps us become less dependent on our phones, whilst still providing us access to the information we need. iPad Pro will help some business users in some industries, while the iPhone 6S introduces new principles that will help us do things that bit quicker.
JP Luchetti is consultancy director at enterprise mobile consultancy and app developer Mubaloo.
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