First look: iPhone OS 3.0 is better for business, but IT won't be satisfied
My iPod Touch slowed to a crawl, making the many useful new iPhone update features hard to use -- at firstFollow @MobileGalen
Perhaps iPhone OS 3.0's new security capabilities will break down some of the IT resistance, such as the ability to set the iPhone to wipe out its data after 10 failed attempts to enter the passcode. The installed policy profiles can now be encrypted and require an administrative password to be changed or disabled.
Also in the security camp is support for Exchange ActiveSync client certificate-based authentication and Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP). The Exchange ActiveSync policies supported include disabling the camera and initiating a remote wipe. Finally, if you let your users sync via iTunes (iTunes is required only for the initial setup), you can set iTunes to keep all backed-up data encrypted.
But a big IT issue remains: You can't easily manage iPhones through a central console wirelessly, even though you can do some management (profiles and remote wipe) via e-mail, the Web, and/or Exchange 2007. IT pros rightfully complain that Apple essentially forces them to use a local PC as a management workstation and physically connect users' iPhones to it. (So much for managing the iPhone via remote help desks, whether in India or Indiana.)
I also don't see device-based encryption available outside of the configuration profiles, despite it being mentioned in Apple's presentation at WWDC 2009 two weeks ago. A conspiracist might think that takes care of -- in a silly way -- IT pros' complaints that Apple had no way to log the encryption so if a device was lost or stolen, they could avoid publicizing the incident per the breach-notification laws in most states. The truth is simpler: On-device encryption is available only in the new iPhone 3G S (which we'll review soon), so the new iPhone 3.0 OS doesn't add encryption to earlier models.
All in all, the iPhone OS 3.0 is a good step forward for Apple. But the company seems to still be holding back on several key areas, especially those that would remove the "iPhones aren't as compliance-friendly as BlackBerry" argument that keeps many a would-be iPhone user a Blackberry user.
InfoWorld executive editor Galen Gruman analyzes the latest issues in mobile technology.
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Galen is author of iOS 7: The "Just What You Need" Book, OS X Mavericks: The "Just What You Need" Book, MacBook Pro Portable Genius, and iBooks Author For Dummies, as well as lead author of Exploring Windows 8 For Dummies. Follow Galen's mobile musings on Twitter at MobileGalen and at Google+.