How iOS 7's new APIs change the game for business

Apple's new content-focused management APIs for iOS and OS X should further reduce security doubts of IT admins and CSOs, while keeping users empowered

If there's any company making mobile safe for business but useful for people, it's Apple. And Apple is making iOS and OS X even safer while remaining truly useful for people in the new content and application management APIs debuting in iOS 7 and OS X 10.9 Mavericks, detailed later in this post. The move will create a huge, positive shift in attitudes about business use of mobile tech, and I daresay PC tech as well, especially as third-party tools and software developers adopt the APIs.

And they will: AirWatch, Centrify, Citrix Systems, Good Technology, MobileIron, MobileSpace, and so on have already announced they will use the technology in their management tools (some are already shipping). In an interesting twist, MobileSpace is also providing similar capability for Android.

[ Galen Gruman describes a smarter approach to mobile security. | Mobile security: iOS vs. Android vs. BlackBerry vs. Windows Phone. | Stay up to date on the latest security developments with InfoWorld's Security Central newsletter. ]

When Apple adopted Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) and added its own management and security APIs to iOS 4.2 in summer 2010, business joined the mobile revolution. Suddenly, IT could enforce password policies, be confident that on-device encryption was enabled, and even regulate device access to specific Wi-Fi networks, applications, and various services for users where locking down access was a legitimate security need. Over time, Apple has refined those controls in each subsequent iOS version and added many of them to OS X. Google copied the basic APIs for Android, and Samsung enhanced them to be closer to what Apple offers.

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