The Month in Mobility – October ‘14

Updated operating systems kept mobile users, and enterprise mobility organizations, on their toes.

Another month draws to a close, and it was a month of great news around mobility.  Microsoft made Windows 10 available to folks in the form of a public beta, Apple released iOS 8.1 (not only to resolve issues, but introduce new functionality), and Android Lollipop and Google demonstrated it too can produce great hardware that sells out in minutes.

android-figurka-lollipopSo where to begin? The latest version of Android in the form of Lollipop is now appearing and promises a lot of new functionality.  Of interest are the Enterprise features that are now available.  It should be noted that, up until this release, enterprise features were provided by OEMS such as Samsung and Lenovo rather than Google, Lollipop changes this by providing a re-architected operating system that incorporates new functionality.  APIs have been made available to the EMMs that allow these features to be controlled by your EMM/MDM.

The features I am most excited about are:


Apple released iOS 8.1 to users this month, and one of the key features added is Apple Pay.  If you don’t know what this is, it’s basically adding a credit card (but not just any) to your Passbook, then using a compatible payment terminal at your favorite store to use your fingerprint to pay.  Now in reality, it’s finding the compatible vendor and payment hardware, competitive solutions and corporate politics are in play right now and while it was fun to see folks use Apple Pay to get a hot dog at the World Series, time will tell how successful this will be.

Several great conferences this month, a couple of folks were at Salesforce’s Dreamforce event and Gartner’s Symposium.  A lot of takeaways from both events, and look out for a webinar coming up soon.  AirWatch’s CEO John Marshall posted his Top 3 Mobile Takeaways from Gartner Symposium on their blog page HERE.Staying with Apple we saw the new iPad Airs and Minis released this month, the new devices are thinner, have fingerprint sensors, no mute switch, more… one sec.  No mute switch? That’s right the Air 2 doesn’t have a physical mute switch, requiring you to use the configuration center to mute or adjust screen orientation lock.  Only in its absence do you realize how frequently you actually use the switch.  Also introduced with the new iPads is the Apple SIM.  Fundamentally its non-carrier SIM that allows the user to choose the carrier from those available, I think it’s a great concept and when you consider global travelers, it could prove very useful.  Time will tell how much of a game changer this is, but I don’t think it’s as doom and gloom for the carriers that some pundits have suggested.

Alibaba, which recently made history with the largest IPO, is investing in mobile. The Chinese e-commerce company has contributed $50 million to remote control software made by Peel Technologies Inc.

We touched on the wearables market last month, and we see new devices released this month.  Some devices appear to be tailored to certain crowds. TomTom, known for its GPS systems, has released a smartwatch for golfers that might render the caddy unnecessary and Microsoft released their wearable which while being a band format, provides cross platform functionality and compatibility (which I for one am grateful for).

Other points to note, but have run out of space to write in detail:

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