As a service to our customers Enterprise Mobile routinely issues Technical Services Bulletins on important topics.
How iOS 5 Could Affect Your Devices
On October 4th Apple announced plans to release the iOS 5 update on October 12th, 2011 at midnight PST.
As with previous OS updates, Enterprise Mobile expects that new devices procured shortly after the release will soon be pre-installed with iOS 5 instead of iOS 4.3.2.
For legal, not technical reasons, Enterprise Mobile will not be able to downgrade newly procured devices from iOS 5 back to iOS 4.3.2. This may also impact old devices that are sent to Apple repair, which may return upgraded.
This may impact applications, automated MDM rules, and end-user support.
Testing iOS 5
Enterprise Mobile urges all iOS customers to quickly and thoroughly test and validate that all their business applications run on iOS 5, with functionality retained.
Most ISVs have been testing iOS 5 during the beta cycle and have updated the Apple AppStore with the updated software versions. After the final iOS 5 release is obtained and validated, they may need to update their applications in the AppStore. Third-party application development firms that build custom applications may also need to go through a similar process and customers may need to obtain updated application binaries.
Enterprise Mobile can provide assistance for customers that need help with detailed testing.
To install iOS 5 on compatible iPhone, iPod and iPads hardware, tether the device to a Mac or PC that is running iTunes and follow the upgrade prompts.
Please note that some of your end-users will perform this on upgrade on their own, on the first day the software is available.
Enterprise Mobile can assist if a large scale upgrade of devices is required, and can work with your internal support personnel to speed the process.
Mobile Device Management (MDM)
Many MDM vendors are preparing new versions of their products to add additional functionality and validated iOS 5 support.
Until iOS 5 is released on October 12, MDM vendors cannot publically disclose what new MDM features it provides or what they will support. This is mandated by a separate NDA they have signed.
Because you may not be able to update your MDM solution before the iOS 5 release, Enterprise Mobile strongly recommends that you have any iOS access version controls verified and possibly disabled if necessary to permit new iOS 5 upgraded devices to connect and access business critical functions.
Enterprise Mobile will release another Technical Bulletin once additional information on the iOS 5 MDM features is made public.
Apple iCloud is a new feature that will enable syncing of photos, music, and documents between multiple devices. Applications present on the AppStore will not be backed up, but instead they will automatically become re-downloaded from the AppStore if your device is restored from your iCloud backup. Every Apple ID will receive 5 Gb of storage free of charge. iCloud does not support multiple Apple IDs if used on the device for personal and corporate applications.
We do not know yet whether it will be possible to manage the iCloud features or settings from an iOS 5 supported MDM solution.
The iOS 5 release is the first iOS version that can provide over-the-air (OTA) updating of the OS itself. This will be advantageous to most enterprise customers as it eliminates the need to keep devices tethered to a Mac or PC to retrieve updates.
Apple has not announced whether there will be any future MDM settings to control the OTA update functionality. Some enterprise customer may want to control the flow of updates and ensure production support.