The release of iOS 6 just weeks away. The new release includes a range of new features. Some seem tailor-made for business use like the new VIP contacts feature in Mail. Others are clearly designed for a mass-market consumer audience. Even those consumer-oriented additions have a lot of potential for use in the office, however.
Although Apple pitched iBooks Author as a tool for educators, the company fully supports anyone who want to create an ebook using iBooks Author to do so. Apple also lets anyone that creates an ebook with iBooks Author to distribute it through the iBookstore – the catch being that the iBooks Author edition of an ebook can’t be published using another company’s store (though the text of the title can be repackaged using other apps and sold elsewhere). As usual, Apple will take a 30% cut of any sales.
There are, of course, plenty of non-education uses for iBooks Author.
When Apple unveiled iMessage, one of the first thoughts for many IT professionals and business users was that Apple had come up with a secure messaging platform that could rival RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger. While iMessage has a lot going for it as a secure messaging platform, there are still some reasons that it may not be an ideal business solution.
App and template designer Jumsoft announced a new collection of images and patterns for Apple’s iWork suite. The new package, known as Elements for iWork, is the company’s eleventh collection of professionally designed images, templates and stationary designed to help businesses, students, and consumers create stunning documents and projects using a range of Mac apps.
In a move that makes the Square/Starbucks partnership announced last week look like small potatoes, a group of national and international retailers announced plans to develop their own mobile payment network complete with mobile apps and digital wallet functionality. The move seems almost certain to shake up the nascent mobile payments market where a wide range of companies and organizations have been trying to figure out the secret sauce that will turn mobile payments into a mainstream retail system for the past couple of years.
The Merchant Customer Exchange or MCX, as the new company is known, plans to deliver a solution that offers convenience in both making purchases and in receiving customizable offers from retailers. Development of a mobile app and payment network are underway, but MCX has yet to announce any details about either the app or its network.
FileWave launched a new free app called Lightning this week. The new app makes quick and easy work of deploying Mountain Lion (and Lion) to multiple Macs, particularly recent Macs with Thunderbolt. It can be used to roll out existing master images that a business or school has already created as well as a base OS X install that can be customized with a range of files and applications.
Another study of the bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon concludes that the trend of employees bringing the personal iPhones, iPads, and other devices into the office shows no sign of slowing down. It also confirms previous reports that indicate many personal devices being used in the workplace don’t have even basic security features enabled.
The study by Coalfire, a company the specializes in IT risk management services, paints a particularly grim picture of the lack of security for iOS and Android devices in the workplace. With the BYOD trend show no signs of slowing or ending, Coalfire CEO Rick Dakin, notes that companies cannot afford to keep ignoring mobile security concerns.
Registration is now open for MacTech Conference 2012. The annual conference, which is a great learning and networking experience for IT professionals and developers, will be held October 17 – 19 in Los Angeles. A pre-registration discount is available for anyone who registers by the end of August.
The conference is sponsored by MacTech magazine and was launched in 2010, the year that Apple chose to focus its annual Worldwide Developers Conference solely on iOS. Since then, the conference has grown into a major event for IT professionals that need to support Macs and/or iOS devices in business, enterprise, and education environments. The conference has also become a serious event for Mac and iOS developers.
1Password by AgileBits is a an incredible tool for keeping your data safe. More than just a password manager, 1Password allows you to encrypt and organize a wide range of data (website passwords, non-web digital accounts, credit/debit card numbers and financial account details, software licenses, and files containing confidential information.
Those features are all well and good, but the biggest feature is 1Password’s ability to keep all that data secure in the face of brute force attacks – the kind of attacks where a piece of software simply tries combination after combination of possible passwords. Password cracking software that rely on such attacks can easily try thousands of potential passwords each second.
To find out whether or not 1Password can withstand such attacks, AgileBits tested one 1Password against John the Ripper, one of the most well-known password cracking tools.
In the aftermath of a data breach that it announced this week, Dropbox says that it will begin implementing new security measures. Those measures include new automated techniques for spotting suspicious behavior, a page where you can examine all active logins to your account, password update requirements, and two-factor authentication.
All of those are reasonable steps to take. That Dropbox hasn’t implemented most of those items before is a bit surprising. Only one of those items – two factor authentication – really puts a burden onto Dropbox users, but it could put a very big burden on iOS users and app developers.