We’ve sent out warnings about using caution for the past few iOS upgrades. This time, it’s more of a “things to know” situation.
There are lots of changes in iOS 13, with Dark Mode being one of the more anticipated ones. Lots of these changes are fun for the user experience (like CarPlay enhancements), but don’t have much impact on our business clients. However, if your business has a “BYOD” policy, then there are a few things to know about.
iOS 13 brings several under-the-hood enhancements, making it easier for a business to keep its data separate and secure from an employee’s personal data on their iPhone with a new feature called “User Enrollment.” This feature requires the use of some cloud tools such as an MDM product and a Managed Apple ID via Apple Business Manager. While it will take a little bit of effort to set up the infrastructure to take advantage of this new “mode,” the end-result means a business can protect its data without impinging upon the user experience of the employee on their own iPhone.
This can also affect the details within a company’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and Privacy Policies. Labor Law varies by state, but in California, if a company expects to be able to remotely wipe a device when lost, it is responsible for protecting the employee’s personal data. In other words, if your AUP says you can remotely wipe a lost mobile device to protect your company’s data, and that device is the employee’s personal iPhone, then the company must ensure it can restore the personal data. That is a large and complicated burden for the company to carry. The end result is many companies choose to simply block access to cloud services from the mobile device when it’s lost, hoping any data already on the device is protected via device encryption. Now with iOS 13, if prepped in advance with the systems mentioned above, a business could remotely remove their corporate data from the device without fear of impacting the employee’s personal data. That is a great step forward for companies with BYOD policies.
As we always say, upgrading is a contextual decision because all new software and operating systems contain both known and unknown bugs. Unless you have some super urgent business need for some of the new features (and we don’t mean you want to geek out and play), hold back. Most software and hardware developers wait until after the new OS hits the streets before they finalize testing, so it takes a few weeks, and sometimes months, to release fully compatible versions. Check your key mobile apps for iOS 13 compatibility before you upgrade and remember to sync and backup your iPhone first!
One more note…iPad OS is slated to be released on September 30th.