Brown’s Bytes – Good news for the Enterprise from iOS 12 Beta

Welcome to Brown’s Bytes! Your weekly insight from Mobliciti’s CTO Andy Brown. Follow #brownsbytes

29th June 2018

As mentioned in a previous Byte we have been looking at iOS 12 with a view to how it will work in the Enterprise.

The public beta for iOS 12 is now out so we’re edging closer towards the final product that will likely hit after the summer break.

So far, I’d suggest it is still for testing only. This is still an early Beta and you would likely get frustrated using it as your primary device. Having said that we’re now seeing the green shoots of some cool features that should get Enterprise customers excited…

Better Performance?

During WWDC Apple did promise that iOS 12 would have better performance than iOS 11 on older hardware. They made some pretty bold claims like apps will launch up to 40% faster and the keyboard will pop up 50% faster.

That’s very cool if true and will make a device appear noticeably snappier to the end user. This in turn potentially means that Enterprises can sweat their iPhone assets a bit longer (note the iPhone 5S is still slated to get the iOS 12 update).

So, the good news coming in from CNET is that this looks like it could well be true. I’d caution reading too much into performance on a Beta as, by definition, things will change before the gold release, but even so, it does look promising – in particular the performance of Safari seems much improved.

Definitely an area to keep an eye on.

MDM Control of OAuth

Thanks to our good partner MobileIron for publicising this one here.

This one is important – in particular to Office 365 users. Since the beginning of the native email client, it has had to authenticate to corporate email services using ActiveSync.Way back most people just entered their static username and password onto the device. This is then cached and presented when the device needs to connect.

Moving forward there has been the option to use Kerberos to remove the passwords, but that tends to be linked back to on-premise Exchange implementations.

For Office 365, Microsoft has implemented more modern ways of authenticating users. We talk a lot about how multi-factor authentication really needs to be implemented on Office 365. However, one of Microsoft’s dirty little secrets is that mobile devices currently bypass their MFA – the ActiveSync is still using username and password!

So, Enterprise customers rightly got very excited about features in iOS 11 to support modern authentication instead. Unfortunately, there was a big gap – the MDM couldn’t control these settings!

Cue iOS 12 – the controls are finally there… this is great news.

As always, we’ll keep you posted as we learn more.

For now, if you need to know more – in particular about OAuth on iOS and how to get this deployed on all endpoints then then please do get in touch.