There's little doubt that Apple is eyeing the BYOD and enterprise markets, and with iOS 8 scheduled to be released this fall, the company will be in the best position yet to push more iPhones and iPads towards enterprise users.
Here are eight features that are sure to appeal to both enterprise users and IT admins alike.
S/MIME mail encryption
Built-in support for S/MIME means that companies will be able to sign and encrypt email messages on a per-message basis, helping to keep them away from prying eyes.
Passcode for more apps
In iOS 7, Apple added the ability for the Mail app, along with other third-party apps, to be secured with their own passcode. In iOS 8, Apple has built on this feature and spread it to Calendar, Contacts, Reminders, Notes, and Messages.
Now when a company buys in a crate of iPads of iPhones, each device can be set up automatically with corporate apps, security policies, PDFs, ebooks and so on without even having to remove them from the box.
This replaces a cumbersome system where each device had to be set up individually.
Improved email support
Email is at the heart of business, and Apple has worked hard to give both IT admins and end users the tools they need to get the job done. In the iOS 8 Mail app, Apple has added the ability to mark messages as read or unread or to flag them for follow-up with a swipe to the left or right. Users can also flag individual mail threads as VIP so they can better keep up with the conversation. There is also a custom mailbox that brings VIP threads together.
Additionally, messages from external email addresses can be marked in red to improve security, and Exchange users can set automatic reply messages from their iOS devices to be sent, for example, when they're away on vacation.
Broader cloud support
While iOS 7 worked well with iCloud, using other cloud storage providers could be a real pain. In iOS 8, Apple has added support for other cloud storage vendors, including Box and Microsoft's OneDrive.
Better Calendar collaboration
New improved Calendar allows users to see their coworker's availability when scheduling a meeting, as well as email the attendees right from the app.
However, if you want to keep stuff secret you can now mark events as private.
Also, with iOS 8 it is now easier to create events that repeat at custom intervals and lengths of time, such as on the first Monday of the month.
IT admins can now control which apps can open documents downloaded from enterprise domains using Safari. Rules can also be set up to control which apps can be used to open documents downloaded from iCloud Drive.
Additionally, a new networking framework in iOS 8 opens up the possibility for third-party networking developers to create powerful content-filtering tools.
Peer-to-peer AirPlay discovery and playback
With iOS 8, users can wirelessly connect their iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to an Apple TV device without first connecting to the company network, making presentations much simpler.