Managing and Securing IOS 4 Devices At Work

Apple Inc.'s iPhone has always had something of an image problem in the workplace, which isn't surprising given that Apple has always marketed its smartphone more to consumers than to the business world.

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You can build queries for a single device or multiple devices that encompass the following areas: unique device identifier (a value unique to each iOS device); the device name; iOS version; model name and hardware version; serial number; total storage capacity and available free space; IMEI number; the modem firmware version; SIM card ICCID; MAC addresses for both the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth receivers; current carrier (home carrier or roaming); the carrier identified by the installed SIM card as the primary carrier; the version of the carrier settings (APN) data; phone number; whether data roaming is allowed; the installed profiles; installed security certificates and their expiration dates; enforced restrictions; hardware encryption capability; whether a passcode is set; installed applications (including app identifier, name, version, and size); and any application provisioning profiles and their expiration dates -- something that's required for internal corporate iPhone apps distributed outside of the App Store.

Some final thoughts

It's still unclear whether iOS 4 will truly end the belief that the iPhone (and iPad) platform is more about personal entertainment than workplace functionality. It's also hard to know for now which smartphone and tablet platforms will have the staying power to dominate the market -- though I wouldn't bet against Apple. For now, it seems clear that workers and businesses will have a wide variety of choices over the next few years, with Apple being just one of many players trying to get their feet in the enterprise door.

Being able to effectively support and manage multiple platforms is crucial for any organization that wants an effective mobile strategy. For iOS 4 devices, and others, these tools offer ways to make the coming diversification easier to manage and secure. And while they certainly don't ensure that Apple's devices will be welcomed by IT shops, they do make them increasingly viable options for companies in the years ahead.

Ryan Faas is a freelance writer and technology consultant specializing in Mac and multiplatform network issues. He has been a Computerworld columnist since 2003 and is a frequent contributor to Peachpit.com. Ryan was also the co-author of O'Reilly's Essential Mac OS X Panther Server Administration.

This story, "Managing and Securing IOS 4 Devices At Work" was originally published by Computerworld.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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