This year, we’ve asked some of our industry friends for their opinions on Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference that happened last week. Aaron Freimark (CTO of GroundControl) and Charles Edge (Product Manager at Bushel) share their thoughts below:
Who are you and why do you care about Apple’s WWDC?
Aaron Freimark (AF): I’m a guy from New York who helped start a company named GroundControl. I also run the site EnterpriseiOS.com. For many years, my focus has been on Apple in large enterprises. WWDC is the most important event of my year. Why? Businesses complain that Apple doesn’t share roadmaps, but it isn’t true. One week each year, Apple not only shares its roadmap, but more importantly it shares the motivations and values behind that roadmap. WWDC is an opportunity to see into the future.
Charles Edge (CE): I’m the Product Manager for for Bushel, a Mobile Device Management solution for small businesses, the author of a number of books about OS X in enterprise environments and that guy from krypted.com a site for OS X admins. I’m always super-excited about WWDC because it gives me guidance of what to look for in the latest updates to iOS and OS X. This year, WWDC held new significance for me, because as a product manager, I learned how to make the lives of my customers better!
What was the most exciting news out of the WWDC Keynote?
AF: I don’t even remember. For enterprise, Tuesday completely overwhelmed Monday’s keynote. Apple has posted the video of the Tuesday session for enterprise, and everyone should watch it. No more Apple IDs for shared devices! A new workflow for no-touch device provisioning! And the unmistakable proclamation that all companies must begin supervising their corporate-owned devices.
CE: Apple Pay going international. I think that London paves the way for a lot of other countries.
Was there anything in the Keynote that truly surprised you (good or bad)?
AF: Craig Federighi is looking better every year.
CE: Making Swift Open Source!
Being a developer’s conference, how have folks reacted to Swift 2 being Open Source?
AF: It is very exciting for our developers. Apple has made some tremendous contributions to software, making some complex tasks, ugh, swift and east for dev. It is great seeing these will be available on Linux, the OS of choice for embedded systems. That may be an IoT play.
CE: It was the only announcement in the Keynote that received a standing ovation from the people at JAMF. I’d say that’s a pretty darn good reaction!
I’m sure you can’t say everything, but do you have some new ideas as to how to make your products better?
AF: GroundControl helps ease large and very large deployments of iOS devices. So there was a lot to love in the details of the announcements. The new ways to distribute apps without Apple IDs is going to remove a big hassle for our customers.
CE: The new options for MDM are pretty huge in terms of making products easier to use for Bushel customers. The new options you’ll see are awesome, and they’re available to see on the Internet if you’re interested in what expect from Mobile Device Management solutions.
You’ve been around the WWDC community and ecosystem for a while. How has it evolved over the last years?
AF: Years ago, there used to be an “IT Track” at WWDC. Today, there is much less content for IT types. But there is a group of us who seem to find each other year after year. I’d even say that we’ve formed a very strong community.
CE: Once upon a time, there was a lot of information about Enterprise IT. At first, I was surprised to see that loss, but the shift in focus to pure development has given rise to several other conferences. I was lucky enough to speak at WWDC, but now a lot of other people have had the chance to speak at these conferences. And that’s one of the many things that has made the Mac administration community tighter, even as it’s grown massively in the past few years.
Lastly, any big tips for folks thinking about iOS deployments?
AF: The best thing you can do is to get a trusted, experienced adviser. A deployment doesn’t end when the devices ship. Find someone who has done it and failed a few times, so that you can learn from their experience.
CE: The biggest thing to keep in mind with iOS deployments is that logistics are the hardest part to nail down. Mobility isn’t as technical as something like a large-scale OS X deployment. But the logistics are much more challenging as there are fewer options. This is great for people coming into the Apple community, as it helps level the playing field for the massive influx of new administrators coming in.
Thanks to both for sharing their thoughts, and if you haven’t checked out their products, you should.
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