23 October 2018
Mobile technology moves fast. While it wouldn’t be unusual to visit an office with desk phones from a decade ago, mobiles become outdated much more quickly. So, whether your business has a BYOD policy or deploys devices to staff as part of a mobility strategy, keeping technology relevant is an ongoing concern.
But while keeping devices up to date is important, not all updates necessitate buying new products – as businesses who use Apple products will already know. When it comes to Apple events, it’s usually the annual product launch that draws in the crowds. But for businesses – most of whom are unlikely to rush out and update all of their mobile devices – the recently released operating system update, iOS 12, may be of more interest. The release has delivered a number of improvements, many of which are applicable even to older devices.
Faster speeds, higher productivity
The iOS 12 update has placed a big emphasis on speed – Apple has promised up to 40% faster app launching. This is good news for workers who regularly flick between pinging off emails, phone calls, messages and business platforms, like CRM apps. Likewise, the keyboard will now appear faster and users will enjoy more responsive typing, which is excellent for workers on the move.
In addition to loading more quickly, Apple devices have become more intelligent with iOS 12, and can now take note of the user’s daily routines to suggest shortcuts. The more employees use their devices, the more convenient these shortcuts will become – which will help to speed up processes even more. Users can also design their own shortcuts, empowering workers to access the tools they need at the swipe of a screen.
Best of all, these increased speeds aren’t just for the latest models – iOS 12 is set to make older devices run more efficiently, too. Even as far back as the iPhone 5s and 6, iOS 12 should increase running speeds, improving usability for workers without any additional costs for businesses. If used in combination with a business-only mobile network to support communications, this all means Apple users should be set to enjoy faster working speeds than ever before.
Whether you’re looking to empower remote workers to host meetings or find a mutually agreeable way of conferencing with clients, iOS 12 offers a solution. Although their products already support the use of third-party apps like Skype, Apple has used the update to address the capabilities of its own video conferencing platform, FaceTime. FaceTime calls can now be made with up to 32 people simultaneously, with participants free to join and leave at any time. Plus, to meet those all-important security concerns, FaceTime will also be encrypted end to end for all calls.
Minimising distractions and finding balance
Particularly in light of the rise in BYOD, excessive smartphone use in the workplace can become a problem. In one recent survey, employers cited excessive texting as one of the top productivity killers. But with so many workers using smartphones for essential business functions, it can be difficult both for employers to judge where devices are being used inappropriately and for workers to resist the temptation of distractions.
The much-discussed Screen Time feature could help solve these issues, as it offers the capability to see how much times is spent using different apps and websites. It also gives users the power to set time limits for social media apps, limiting distractions if so desired. Of course, the flip side of this can also be a problem for workers. Just as personal lives can bleed into the working day, mobile devices used for work can negatively affect employee happiness levels if workers end up emailing when they should be winding down for bed.
For employees who use their personal device for work, Apple have enhanced their pre-existing feature, ‘Do Not Disturb During Bedtime’, allowing workers to manage what notifications are seen at what time. In theory, this should enhance employee happiness levels and encourage work-life balance, resulting in better performance while on the clock.
Getting the most from mobile
Not all features of the iOS 12 update will be relevant for businesses – Memoji’s are unlikely to have a significant business impact any time soon – but there are some noteworthy benefits to be enjoyed, many of which will help Apple users be more productive during the working day. IT teams should try to ensure all workers have updated appropriately to start taking advantage of these features.