Amid iPhone 5 rumors, don't lose site of Apple iOS 6's arrival for iPhones and iPads this fall. How will the new smartphone and tablet operating system impact mobile device management (MDM)? LabTech Software is the latest company to weigh in. LabTech has been working closely with iOS 6 betas since Apple released the test code at its Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco last month. Here's the update for managed services providers (MSPs).
LabTech isn't alone with its iOS 6 preparations. Kaseya and Level Platforms both confirmed their iOS 6 plans to MSPmentor last week. A lot of people are wondering if Apple will coordinate an iPhone 5 launch with iOS 6 but so far the company has not even confirmed iPhone 5's development.
Most MDM platforms support at least Apple iOS and Google Android, with some developers also supporting Windows Phone and RIM BlackBerry. Although Android smart phones now outsell the the iPhone, developers seem to believe Apple iOS is pulling away from Android in the enterprise.
LabTech isn't playing favorites but is certainly gearing up for Apple iOS 6. "While Apple did not announce any new feature additions to MDM with their release of the iOS 6 beta, we have been working hard on refining our MDM solution and adding more of Apple's existing capabilities to it, as well as keeping an eye out for any low key updates or changes that Apple may try to sneak in," said Tim Harter, software engineer, LabTech. "We will also be releasing an iOS Agent App to supplement our implementation of Apple's MDM by providing geo-location tracking, data plan management, and ticketing from within the app."
Matt Nachtrab, CEO of LabTech, relayed Harter's thoughts to me via email.
iOS 6: More Updates ComingBack at LabTech, the company is making additional iOS 6 preparations. According to Harter:
"We have also been working to update our existing iOS Mobile Control Center App, moving away from their older, deprecated, technologies and use the newer, recommended, programming paradigms. These updates, along with a fairly lengthy period of development and testing against iOS 6 and older versions of iOS give me confidence in our ability to provide our partners with a smooth transition to these new technologies upon their release. In the mean time we are remaining alert and vigilant to any changes and new developments is this ever changing field."For MSPs exploring the MDM market, this fall will be especially busy. In addition to iPhone 5 (rumored) and iOS 6's arrival, Microsoft Windows Phone 8 will ship, and RIM is expected to more broadly discuss BlackBerry 10's development cycle -- which apparently will stretch into 2013. A growing number of MSPs are seeking MDM platforms to manage all of those mobile device types.