WWDC 2014 (Part 2 of 3)

WWDC covered some interesting topics on security this year. Interested? Read on!

In the last year or two, the enterprise worldwide has mostly adopted the iPhone and iPad as industry-standard devices. They previously favored BlackBerry phones; As of 2006, half the smartphones bought in the United States were BlackBerrys[1]. However, a few years after iPhone and Android devices were introduced, BlackBerry suffered dramatically from consumer preferences shifting. Apple has also recently been able to pre-modify each smartphone/pad (mostly iPad Air) for specific company requests. This coupled with feedback of user satisfaction and incredible security capabilities has propelled companies to comply with the integration of Apple product use.

Houston mobile developers and web app developers PixelRocket comments on the news from WWDC 2014

Houston mobile developers and web app developers PixelRocket comments on the news from WWDC 2014 

The built-in functions for Apple’s new iOS 8 will cater even further to industries. It has similar security standards as the previous operating systems, except you can now use S/MIME protocol to encrypt your emails by default. This function will give us the ability to send encrypted email to anyone that is part of our exchange environment. iOS 8 will automatically consult the Global Address List (GAL) to find the public key (certificate) for all individuals in the contact list. Once this info has been tracked down you will see your recipient’s email address (name) turn blue and display a lock icon to the right.

If this new function gains a flawless reputation then the iPhone will be the first of its kind to bring the concept of message encryption to a much larger audience than previously noted. The majority of average e-mailers don’t realize sending an un-encrypted message is almost exactly like sending a letter through the mail without an envelope sealed in your personal wax insignia. While the message passes from server, to router, and switch, its content is easily obtainable if someone found access to one of the stops it makes on its journey. With the new ability to seal email and detect spam or spoofs so simply, iOS 8 is giving the average smartphone user a choice to practice safe text.

Before this user friendly S/MIME method existed, a user would have to take his or her time to enroll in a policy that aligned with specific regulations before they went about their encrypted days. Mobile device management (MDM) allows this amount of customization on smart-phones but everyone who has gone to the trouble of acquiring proper certification knows that it can be a massive hassle. With the iOS’s incredibly simplified approach to S/MIME encryption, it would seem Apple’s competitors will soon be recipients of the hot potato in the ever-going game of tech. Not only is Apple stepping to the competitors, but they’re stepping slightly above them with another security function: Safari’s saved passwords ability for third-party apps.

This new feature will make logging into your social media accounts or any other app with a login requirement a much quicker process. Instead of taking time to type a username and password, your credentials are stored by Safari which will automatically fill in the login information of third-party apps. Admittedly, Windows already has an app named LastPass for web browsers and mobile browsers but requires a ‘premium’ membership for mobile usage, and cannot fill the log-in info of a third-party app. Perhaps LastPass will take on third-party apps now that the iPhone shows an advantage regarding their accessibility. We’re excited to find how much time we can save by getting to the goods quicker than before; with new advances in technology perpetually appearing we’ll be better able to receive the great or horrible news and blog about it faster than the next guy.


[1]   http://www.eweek.com/mobile/mobile-device-makers-vie-to-replace-blackberry-as-enterprise-standard.html