Apple iOS 9’s Multitasking holds huge promise for business

June 15, 2015

  • Jessica Smith

Five Lextech team members, hailing from the Chicago area, St. Louis, North Carolina, and even Lebanon, attended Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference in San Francisco last week. Several of them donned our custom “May the Force Touch be with You” WWDC shirts. We received a stream of pictures and messages from them starting before the conference, after the keynote, and during the days of the conference.

Lextech WWDC Collage

When we polled the attendees as well as Lextech’s non-WWDC attending keynote audience for the top announcements for the enterprise, there were a number of features the staff saw as beneficial especially to businesses: Swift version 2 and its open source rollout, contextual Siri, deeplinking, and Metal update, among several other enterprise-boosting features (two factor authentication for iCloud, productivity shortcuts, keyboard shortcuts, and more). However, the one feature announcement at the top of Apple’s list that everyone—especially developers with inside knowledge of our client’s workflows and pain points—said was iOS 9’s Multitasking features.

Multitasking features include these three main functions:

1) Slide Over—While working in one app, open another on top of it.

Enterprise example: a sales person is working in their CRM and wants to take a quick look at a client’s LinkedIn profile. The user could double check a client’s personal information, including their contact information, copy it and paste it in the CRM in a couple quick touches and without closing the CRM app. This is especially important as sales people in the field need to be able to research on the go and streamline their workflows.

2) Split View—Have two apps open side by side (available for iPad Air 2).

Enterprise example: A field service person for a corporate maintenance company needs to fill out a purchase order request for a maintenance run, but also needs to verify what part they’re looking for in a separate parts catalogue app. With Split View, the field service person can reference the part number with the open catalogue app. We can see the benefits of deep linking here as well if the PO app is linked to the catalogue app.

3) Picture in Picture—This will allow video or FaceTime to play in the foreground while you use an app in the background.

Enterprise example: In the case of a crisis, after a manager has safely taken initial safety steps, they could FaceTime with a superior while referencing a crisis management app that indicates next steps. In a less stressful every day example, a company trainee could watch a sales training video while taking notes, all in one screen.

There are plethora scenarios where iOS 9 will benefit the enterprise user, but having worked with Fortune 500 field service and sales companies, the impact of Apple iOS 9’s Multitasking will be tremendous.

Did you watch the WWDC keynote? What did you think? Do you place as high a focus on the coming usability features, or were you more impressed with the native app additions or contextual Siri improvements?