Lextech News

iOS 5 PC Free Functionality – Bye, Bye Enterprise iTunes?

June 23, 2011

  • Alex Bratton
  • 3

Apple’s recent announcement of new features coming in iOS 5 included a number of interesting capabilities that will have a big impact on enterprise iOS deployments. The update with the biggest enterprise impact may be Apple’s new ‘PC Free‘ functionality for iOS — no longer requiring users to plug iPhones and iPads into their computers.

When receiving a new device, a user can activate the phone directly on the screen itself rather than having to plug into iTunes. This should give enterprise IT departments a reprieve from worrying about needing to install iTunes on everyone’s computers or finagling a central iTunes computer per office.

The other critical need for iTunes is traditionally backing up the iOS device. Coupling the PC-less function with iCloud, devices will be backed up to the cloud without the need of any new IT systems inside the organizations. iCloud will bring other enterprise opportunities and challenges (I’ll touch in those in a future post) but the core backup capabilities will make supporting iOS devices much easier.

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hi Alex
how would you deploy Apps that are still in the development phase?

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I am fascinated by the direction Apple has been approaching things of late, with Apple betting the farm on iOS and the cloud. Apple seems to be trying to make it to where you won’t need a PC anymore. I’m still curious as to whether they’ll go through and try to unify all their devices under iOS (Which could happen if rumors are correct and Macbooks switch over to the ARM processors)

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Sean, I don’t see Apple ever unifying all devices under iOS, as developers creating all the apps for iOS use OS X to do so. With Lion, they are merging more of the functionality of iOS back to OS X and I think that is the trend that will continue, but I see a continuing need for the Mac for professionals. As Steve Jobs said, the PC (aka Mac) is like a pickup truck. They are important, and some will still need them. But, most people will be happy with iOS.

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