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Apple added other enterprise features to enhance corporate security. iOS 8 adds Passcode-specific access to apps. Enterprise users will no longer have to lock their device constantly. Passcodes can now be applied to specific, sensitive apps. iOS 8 also adds per message S/MIME to emails, offering secure attachments. Users can also tag an email thread as “VIP”, enabling updates to show up in Notification Center. Mail also adds automatic replies for Exchange and free/busy status to Calendar. Third party developers can now use TouchID, which will be used extensively in the corporate world.
iOS 8’s focus on health made quite a buzz months before the WWDC. Key acquisitions by Apple hinted that health care would become critical to future releases. Like other features, Apple has opened up healthcare information technology to third-party developers with HealthKit. This new software development kit allows for the creation of apps that can securely store and retrieve the user’s health information from a single repository. Users will no longer have to enter information repeatedly. Other health care apps can securely access and operate on this information. Major hospitals, such as the Mayo Clinic, have already integrated HealthKit into their own apps. Their app can even contact a doctor if health metrics are abnormal. Epic Systems, a major player in healthcare IT, has also embraced HealthKit, which will bring the technology to over 100 million Americans.
iOS 8 makes it easier to share iTunes purchases with the family. Up to six family members sharing the same credit card (for iTunes) can be defined as a “family unit”. Family Sharing enables access to iTunes content, photos, reminders, locations, calendar events and the ability to locate a lost family member’s device. The new technology also makes it easy for parents to approve their children’s purchases. Kids can now ask permission for purchases, which can be confirmed on their parent’s device. It was always possible to share iTunes content using authorization, however, this only worked with iTunes on a Mac or PC. Family Sharing expands and improves on the basic iTunes sharing that existed before. This is impressive. Apple is cannibalizing their content purchases to build a better ecosystem (and sell more devices). Tim Cook’s Apple is more generous to the customer, which should build brand loyalty.
The iPhone already takes great photos and the Photos app makes them easy to edit, but it always left something to be desired. To be honest, I use Camera+. With iOS 8, I may move back to using the built-in Camera app and Photos, because of the improved photo editing features. Apple’s new Photos app introduces smart editing, making for fool-proof corrections to light, color, straightening and cropping. The demo showed how simple adjustments to color and lighting were actually changing many different parameters. With iOS 8, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to make your photos look better. (continue…)