'

Here's what's new in iOS 9 for device management in enterprises and schools

Apple didn't have time to share any enterprise or eduction device deployment features in last week's WWDC keynote but there's plenty of new management features in iOS 9.

At its WorldWide Developer Conference last week, Apple didn't cover too many enterprise features coming to iOS 9, which surprised me. I expected Apple to publicly continue its push into the workplace, particularly since it entered into a partnership with IBM last year.

You can't fit a year's worth of vision into a 2.5 hour keynote though, which is where the break-out conference sessions come into play. On his blog, Brian Madden highlighted one that focuses solely on how Apple is focusing on mobile device management and, if you have Safari, you can watch the recorded session here.

From a security standpoint, Apple is moving from four digit passcodes to six digits for iPads and iPhones with a Touch ID sensor. You can still require a more complex passcode; it's only the Simple Passcode that changes in iOS 9.

The DEP, or Device Enrollment Program, is expanding from just two to 26 countries around the world, with two dozen new regions joining the U.S. and Canada.

The device enrollment function is also optimized: A Mobile Device Mangement (MDM) server will keep Setup Assistant active until new iPads and iPhones are completely configured and ready for deployment. This ensures all policies are in place before the device is used.

Additionally, devices can be enrolled without even tapping the display of an iOS device by connecting it to Apple Configurator via a USB cable. Admins can also remove the setup assistant panes for Touch ID, Apple Pay, Zoom and -- new to iOS 9 -- the Android Migration option.

App distribution gains some new tricks as well. Licenses for the Volume Purchase Program, or VPP, can be assigned directly to devices instead of individuals.

Apple is also broadening app purchases through the VPP program. If you're based in one country but have employees in other countries, you can purchase apps in your home region and distribute them to though the VPP to workers in other countries.

For employees that have installed their own apps on a corporate iPhone or iPad, companies can convert them from unmanaged to managed apps and apply appropriate policies to them. This can be done in the background without reinstalling and with no loss of data to the user.

Finally, Apple is adding new device restriction options.

device-restrictions.png

AirDrop -- Apple's method for wireless data transfers between devices -- can be treated as an unmanaged destination, for example.

Other restriction options include screen recording, automatic app downloads, iCloud Photo libraries, keyboard shortcuts, Apple News, pairing with an Apple Watch and user modifications to device names, passcodes and wallpaper.

See also: