Apple continues to focus on the needs of business computing. With that in mind, it has made several interesting changes at WWDC 2022. Here's a look at the improvements announced by Apple that we've identified so far.

Apple announced a number of development technologies

Apple unveiled a number of business-focused enhancements during development sessions at the event.

Declarative device management

Introduced in 2021, declarative device management aims to make devices more autonomous and proactive, while allowing servers to be efficient and responsive. Now it is also available for Mac.

managed device certificates

A new security feature that uses the Secure Enclave to provide strong assurances on a client device, such as its identity and software version.

Apple Configurator

Apple Configurator for iPhone was introduced in 2021. It allows administrators to add Macs purchased outside of the normal channel to their organization using Apple School Manager (ASM) or Apple Business Manager (ABM). When running Configuration Assistant on the Mac, administrators need only hold an iPhone running Configurator over the animation. The Mac will then connect to the Internet and be added to your organization. At WWDC 2022, Apple expanded the iPhone configurator so you can now add iPhones and iPads as well.

google workspace

In line with the move toward passwordless access, Apple wants to build systems robust enough that users only need to sign in once, and then that identity is preserved for everything else. With this goal in mind, the company has confirmed that for federated authentication, Apple Business Manager now integrates with Google Workspace as the identity provider.

Sign in with Apple

The company said the feature can now be used at work and school with Managed Apple IDs. There are additional security features built in, so administrators can allow all apps or selected apps to use the login tool.

OAuth2 support

It's a pretty significant change. Apple used a token-based authorization system in iOS/iPad OS 15 to allow MDM servers to verify a user's identity. This changes in iOS/iPad OS 16 with the addition of OAuth 2 support as an alternate authorization mechanism. This means that MDM servers will be able to support other identity provisioning system providers, also improve security, and add another new feature described below.

Enrollment Single Sign On or Enrollment SSO

This is a faster system that allows employees to enroll their personal devices in your organization's MDM system. The system prompts users to enter their email address to download a single sign-on registration application. The user then logs in once and the app takes care of the rest of the process. The system requires IT and MDM vendors to take certain steps before it is supported, including configuring the MDM server to ensure the correct JSON document is shared.

Platform Single Sign-On (Platform SSO)

macOS Ventura takes advantage of this new feature, which allows users to sign in once after signing in to automatically sign in to apps and websites. The feature, which uses a variety of technologies, including third-party SSO extensions, its own Kerberos extension, FileVault, OAuth, OpenID, etc. – means that you may never need to remember another website's password or go through the process of entering it. , again, without compromising your security.

Automated device enrollment

Apple has made a significant change to automatic device enrollment, a change that I imagine will make it much more difficult to set up a lost or stolen managed device for sale. The company says that ASM/ABM-registered Macs must have an Internet connection in order to set them up once wiped or restored.

Accessory Protection

To protect against near-access attacks, a new MDM setting allows administrators to require a user password before using new Thunderbolt or USB accessories with Apple M-series laptops.

web content filtering

Administrators will be able to apply web content filters and DNS proxy servers on managed iPhones and iPads running iOS 16 and iPadOS 16.

Facilitate eSIM swapping

You will be able to transfer eSims between iPhones using Bluetooth. To do this, simply move your old iPhone near the new one and follow the Configure Cellular command dialog. Apple also has security measures in place to ensure users don't accidentally remove their existing eSIM, as this requires a new one to be provisioned.

Enhanced Shared iPad

This slight improvement can make a big difference. A new command allows administrators to automatically suggest their company's domain name when a user begins entering a Managed Apple ID. This will save Shared iPads a lot of time, especially when dealing with complex URLs, as it means spelling becomes less of an issue.

Accessibility in iOS and iPadOS 16

Apple has added tools to allow MDM systems to manage popular accessibility settings, including text size, VoiceOver, zoom, touch layouts, bold text, reduced motion, increased contrast, and reduced transparency. Users can change this setting, but it means devices can be more accessible right out of the box.

Apple also made some introductory announcements

Apple also made several announcements that should benefit business and professional users during its WWDC keynote:

Continuity chamber

This allows you to use your iPhone as a webcam and adds a desktop view so you can share videos over your keyboard.

Improvements in mail and messages.

The welcome (and long-awaited) introduction of search improvements to Mail will help everyone. Scheduled emails, the ability to delete sent emails, and the ability to set reminders to return to unanswered emails will make a huge difference to your workflow. Apple is catching up as features like these are available on other messaging platforms that use tools like Boomerang.

metallic 3

Some nice improvements in Metal 3 include the ability to create more realistic environments and use more graphics memory to power applications.

Spotlight search

This means you can get valuable platform-level web results. It does not completely replace traditional search engines, but it is a desideratum of what is to come.

Live text

The ability to extract text (in a usable format) from images and videos will make a huge difference for users and open up exciting possibilities for developers, especially in companies that work with international audiences.

Quick security response

Rapid Security Response will make a real difference for hybrid and remote businesses because it means Apple can push security updates directly to Macs, iPhones, and iPads. This should help speed up the installation of software updates in companies that until now have relied on employee discretion to update. It also means that MDM systems don't have to wait for full updates.

access keys

These are important because they mark the beginning of a completely password-free future. This decision should significantly reduce the vulnerability of businesses and individuals to phishing.

Did you come across any additional business improvements announced at WWDC? Please write me and let me know.

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Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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