Apple announces iOS 9 and El Capitan at WWDC, here’s how it affects IT

ElCapitanChances are you tuned in to Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference earlier today. Apple CEO Tim Cook and a host of presenters, including two females for the first time ever, tackled improvements to everything from OS X, iOS and Watch OS to Metal, Apple Pay, Notes, iPad, Swift, Apple Music and more.

Today, Apple announced the next version of OS X, El Capitan, as well as iOS 9. With that announcement, users got a glimpse of more productivity enhancements coming their way. With El Capitan, Apple has made enhancements to Mail and Notes to provide better integration with Calendar and present a more Evernote-like experience in Notes. Look for more Mac users to push for using the native apps instead of Outlook. By bringing its graphics rendering engine, Metal, to OS X, more and more graphic-intensive apps, such as those by Autodesk, are coming to the Mac. With more apps coming to OS X, and more productivity enhancements, the Mac growth in the enterprise curve will likely only get steeper.

iOS 9 has made huge improvements in performance as well as battery life. Users can look to have one more hour of use out of the typical day on their iPhone, with the option to add three hours in a special low-power mode. Probably one of the biggest things—and one that might have the largest impact on IT—is true multitasking and split-screen for iPads. When the iPad came out, adoption was huge. However, as users found they just couldn’t do enough of their daily tasks with the iPad, many turned back to their computers to be more productive. The addition of multitasking, split-screen, multi-app viewing, and a gesture based trackpad will lead more users back to their iPads their daily tasks. Expect another surge in iPad purchases and upgrades, as some of these features are only available on the latest model.

Perhaps the theme most interwoven throughout the keynote was Apple’s commitment to security and privacy. Building off of many Silicon Valley based company’s subtle and carefully worded trend to protect customer data from malicious or spying agencies, Apple pushed on messages of anonymous data not associated with the user. Siri is being updated as a more proactive and context-aware assistant. Spotlight is updated with more intelligence and again, context-based searches. To accomplish this, Apple relies on mass data collection of who you are, where you are, and what you like, but this comes with a promise—anonymous searches not associated with an Apple ID and randomized identifiers not linked to other Apple services or shared with third parties.

When Apple introduced its News app—a rich graphical experience of the latest news headlines—similar promises were made: private from the ground up, what you read is not linked to other Apple services, and individual data is not shared with third parties. Not only is Apple being somewhat more direct with how it protects your data from attackers, it’s also pointing directly at Google by taking a hard stance against Google’s main revenue model of collecting users’ data and selling it to marketers. As the line continues to blur between personal and corporate data, enterprises must pay much closer attention to who is collecting this data and how it’s being used. Perhaps this marks the next evolution of security and privacy—one that more mobile manufactures and developers will need to embrace or risk being expelled from the work environment.

In addition to what was announced today, it’s interesting to note who helped announce the announcements. As reported by Mashable, Apple has been criticized for its lack of workplace diversity, and female presenters at past Apple Worldwide Developer Conferences have been virtually non-existent. Today’s conference however featured two female Apple executives, Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Internet Services, and Susan Prescott, vice president of Product Marketing, unveiling new features around Apple Pay and News, respectively.

According to Mashable, Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledges that a lack of diversity in tech “isn’t because women don’t want to be involved in the sector. We haven’t done enough to reach out to show young women that it’s cool to do it and how much fun it can be.” Apple recently donated $10 million to the National Center for Women & Information Technology.

LANDESK is also focusing on this effort for greater diversity in tech through its LANDESK Women of Technology initiative to help women, young women, and girls become more aware of the opportunities, experiences, challenges, and fulfillment of an IT career.

By constantly working on improving the way users interact with their devices, adoption rates are high across all Apple OSs. Yosemite is on 55% of all Macs after only 8 months. iOS 8 adoption is now at 83%. Apple users are interested in consuming the latest features to enable productivity and IT needs to be agile and ready to empower their users to take advantage of these changes quickly. Apple also continues to show its leadership by pushing for greater privacy of users’ data, better security, as well as helping women play a critical role in the tech industry. Throughout all this change, LANDESK remains committed to helping IT react to the speed of adoption and innovation that has become the new standard in the industry.