Category Archives: Apple

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Sep
13

5 things to know about the new iPhone range

A new iOS, new iPhones, new features, a shortlist of things to know about the new range of iPhones:

1. The new iPhone range presented in the “S” years boost the specifications. This year, the screen is boosted as well to an unprecedented size with the iPhone Xs Max, introducing a diagonal of 6,5”. The Apple Watch series 4 is not only thinner, it’s a serious fitness and health tracking device.

2. The new A12 Bionic chip is more powerful and saves energy thanks to its all new 7 nm design. It handles 5 trillion operations per second, that’s blazing fast. It allows a mind blowing gaming experience, but also a much better access security system with faster and more secure FaceID.

During the product presentation a basket player was tracked by the onboard camera of an iPhone XS, analysed in real-time without the use of sensors. The app detected the scene, the player, the ball, the trajectory and even kept scores and analytics. Imagine what these type of apps could do to manufacturing, field engineer, construction, …

3. NFC support for iPhone has not been improved, but is more open for developers. Also here we see a nice potential for business use. The users are no longer required to open the specific app, but just wake their phone while reading the tag.

When talking about connectivity, the dual SIM option looks like the biggest news. Aside a specific version carrying 2 physical sims on the largest iPhone Xs Max, the second SIM is in the eSIM format promoted by Apple throughout the world. Although the feature will not be available at launch, it will provide a future cost saving while roaming and beyond. Since two plans can be combined on a single device, and with the flexibility of the eSIM technology (it doesn’t require a physical SIM, so the complete transaction can be handled online), it allows you to keep your traditional phone number on one SIM while using the other for the most cost efficient data plan.

4. The iPhone 6S is from now on the most cost effective iPhone in the range. The iPhone 6 and SE are no longer appearing on the production listing, this means only limited quantities are available while stock lasts.

For your information the line-up of the iPhone range (each device comes in different memory configuration, only lowest presented here), pricing excluding VAT:

 
iPhone XS Max 64GB 1040,50 EUR Pre-order
iPhone XS 64GB 957,85 EUR Pre-order
iPhone XR 64GB 709,92 EUR Pre-order
iPhone X 64GB 850,41 EUR Available 64 and 256
iPhone 8 PLUS 64GB 660,33 EUR Available
iPhone 8 64GB 569,42 EUR Available
iPhone 7 PLUS 32GB 544,63 EUR Available
iPhone 7 32GB 437,19 EUR Available
iPhone 6S PLUS  32GB 434,71 EUR Available only at mobco for enterprise projects
iPhone 6S 32GB 336,36 EUR Available only at mobco for enterprise projects
 

5. And this, you can now take the iPhone XS to 1.5 meter depth in your pool (was previously 1 meter) for 30 minutes. That’s IP68 for the connaisseurs.

Download the full comparison including the mail iPhone features per model, an overview from SE to Xs! >

Nov
29

Why make life hard…

The question we often hear is:”Why do these device manufacturers make life so hard to activate a new device?”

It’s true. There are too many passwords, login screens and an endles series of ‘yes’ buttons you just have to click to continue in the process. There must be something better? And there is! With the Device Enrolment Program (DEP) we make life easy for your IT staff AND for your employee!! Take a brand new iPhone or iPad, unopened box, give it to your employee and … wait. Trust us, if your employee is not capable of making it work there is a hardware issue with the device. mobco is an Authorized Apple Enterprise Reseller and we know how to make things easy, from hardware purchase at the very best commercial conditions up to the production part and end-user support. See our movie of one of our devices enrolling in EMM.
(go full screen for best viewing experience)
No apple ID required. No credit card required. No personal email address. Open the box and enjoy the magic!
Oct
18

Save 5 minutes a day

In our iOS Masterclass at Apple on Friday the 13th and our business event of October 17th, we explained and demonstrated the features we believe are important for enterprises, important for you.

Thank you all for your active participation in these events!

In this blogpost a short recap of the highlights that will save you at least 5 minutes a day!

  • Photo search function in iOS allows you to find scenes and objects in the pictures you took. Try a keyword like ‘cake’ or ‘bike’, you’ll be amazed how well your iPhone or iPad understands your command! Did you know the native camera app also understand QR codes? No app to be used, just show the QR code to your device!
  • Files is the app that combines all storage providers on your device, including your on-premise ones. Thanks to our Enterprise Files we can put your file server in that list as well. So you can open just any corporate document straight from Microsoft Word, easy.
  • The Dock, a feature that allows fast app switching also provides you the capability to open a second ‘floating’ app and multi-task. Force touch the app in the dock and see more options. Remember that the most right hand app in the Dock is the most recent one you have been using on other iOS devices.
  • You already know the trick to take a screenshot, power and home button at the same time, now with iOS 11 you can immediately edit the picture and send it via email.
  • In iOS 11 there is now “screenrecording” aka ReplayKit. This brings support for end-user on the next level as users now can share their screen with remote people, simple and efficient! Contact our mobco support in case of trouble, or just for testing out the new TeamViewer for iOS experience!
  • AR kit gives your new device Augmented Reality features, check the website madewithARkit.com for inspirational examples! Know that also your Notes app benefits from this feature when it scans documents for you.
  • With Storage optimisation you can literally win gigabytes of storage with loosing crucial data, check your iPhone Settings how much you could save!
  • The embedded ESIM in the latest products provide access to local operators. Visiting countries outside the EU roaming coverage? Just go into settings and activate a one month subscription!
  • DEP, the Apple Device Enrollment Program, allows IT to automatically activate devices AND enrol these in their EMM solution. The new DEP program now allows you to enrol devices you have purchased in retail or previously released from the program. A new feature that is warmly welcomed by IT teams suffering from non controlled purchases.
  • Apple TV is probably the next device you will be putting in every meeting room, managed by MDM. Digital signage made easy AND just any screen via AirPlay on the meeting room display.
  • The collaboration between Cisco and Apple is now very tangible with new security features that will dramatically reduce incidents. The Umbrella service makes life for phishing hackers very hard, but it keeps us safe without impacting our user experience! FastLane is another example of this collaboration where Wifi signals are optimised for real time communication or important apps, something that requires both networking and device configurations.

Contact us for a workshop to find out how can further improve the efficiency of your team and company!

Sep
29

Starbucks WiFi is the new corporate Network

This blogpost is written based on the feedback gathered during our Roundtable event on September 27th, based on my notes and interpretation.

Gartner states that the default management platform for employee devices, from PC to smartphone, should be an Enterprise Mobility Management platform (aka MDM). The same firm states that the driver for business transformation is the digital workplace (Digital Workplace Summit London 2017). You can find an article on the conference here.

And since the digital workplace is mobile first, reason enough for us to organize a Roundtable with customers and subject matter experts. On September 27th we welcomed Mike Murray from Lookout and Apple experts to cover 2 important questions on this ongoing business transformation: is it secure and can how can it improve the way I work?

Mike started by describing the new normal: most employees just want connectivity and do not longer want to be linked to a physical location to gain access to work resources. Hence the title of this post and the conclusion that the traditional network perimeter is disappearing.

Traditional protection mechanisms are failing hard today, traditional SPAM filters are doing a great job in preventing people from clicking on malicious links – because they block the message – but what if that message is passed to the user via a different channel, say Facebook or Twitter ? Cybercriminals are ready for their next big business and are massively moving towards mobile to gain access to your private data, corporate data, passwords, … Already today we find malware on 47 out of 1000 android devices and 1 out of 1000 on iOS. Downloading from official app stores is strongly recommended, as this seems to be the number one location to get ‘infected’. But users are sometimes not always aware they will get infected, the example Mike gave where a parent gets a text message that his daughter was in a traffic accident and “click here to find out in which hospital she is” illustrates how advanced, persistent and “low“ these criminals act.

Android is clearly the most targeted platform, partly due to the fragmentation of the platform and the inherent lower security, but also because this is the dominant platform in those regions where cyber criminals are mostly active; China and Russia. In that respect we are lucky we can learn from what’s going on and protect ourselves.

To start, a correct configuration of the mobile device taking advantage of all configuration settings in terms of security is mandatory. These first measures are no guarantee, but they will certainly rule out the most common issues in the public/hacking domain.

Moving to the second part of the Roundtable the discussion was more oriented towards business functionality and what new features iOS 11 brings. But before diving into the new toolset that is made available to the entire iOS community, we need to check where we are in the ‘Mobile Journey’. Transforming a business takes time to  move from a physical location for work towards a digital workplace that responds to the A3 strategy (the project name chosen by UBS in London for Any time, Any place and Any device – their concrete objective for the digital workplace). Most of the companies represented around the table are today only using a basic set of functionalities on the mobile device, only a limited set of more advanced apps. It is clearly understood the employees want more, but the back-end systems are just not ready – yet.


A question we often get is how to transform a PC application to a mobile app. In our mind we don’t think you should do that. PC application are built in different era when software engineers were asked to put as much features as possible in one application, hence the menu, sub menu and right click options. These applications require training and are offering features of which only 20% are used. Mobile apps are developed with the user experience in mind, require no training and are used for 100% of their features – since ideally there is only one, the app itself.


Many of the attendees are currently not investing in such applications that could redefine their business processes. Not yet. The mobile journey towards the digital workplace is a process that can take many years and where some parts of the business are faster than (more regulated) others. Facebook as an example: banned in the beginning and today absorbing large chunks of the consumer marketing budgets with active daily usage. Aside the commercial interest there is also the employee who wants to use new tools and the risk of shadow IT when no adequate tooling is provided.

As a consensus we also concluded not all functions in a company require a mobile first approach ‘today’. The form factor of their prime computing device for business is defined by their function and personality. It is up to IT to provide the most rich menu card to these employees in terms of functionality and security.

With iOS 11 Apple is adapting the OS, the interface and apps to the business level. The Dock is there when you need it, multiple windows are open to accommodate easy switching between apps, drag&drop allows easy content creation, … the number of new features that in some form or shape feel familiar are now available on the most powerful mobile platform.

iOS 11 in combination with the iPad Pro invites you to find new, easy, simple ways to do your job.

During the entire Roundtable we used the new Apple TV to present, wireless. We know that’s not a new feature, but the magic can be found under the hood. The Apple TV is automatically configured when it’s plugged in for the first time using, imagine what that means for business meeting rooms. No IT interactions needed, from procurement to production.

Let us assist you in your mobile journey and contact us to learn more about our workshop business transformation and the digital workplace!

Sep
15

Jan De Nul and mobco

On air in September 2017 on Kanaal Z – an interview with our customer Jan De Nul on the roll-out of Apple iPhone.

An innovative project with a clear mission to get everything right, from the start. Using all available mobile technology we managed to automate completely the activation and configuration of the devices. The result was the smooth distribution of hundreds of new iPhones in a just a few days.

Contact us the learn more about this project >

 

Meer over Mobco – Kanaal Z – 16-09-2017 from ulrik van schepdael on Vimeo.

Sep
14

Press Release: mobco Achieves Apple Authorized Reseller status

Firm now provides a complete hardware, software and managed services portfolio geared to facilitating mobile business transformation for its clients.

Brussels, September 14 2017 – mobco, a leading Belgium-based provider of managed mobile technology since 2010, today reported it has become an Apple Authorized Reseller. This new status better positions mobco to help Enterprise (and Government) clients transform their businesses. mobco, through its dedicated IT consultants, now offers complete services with respect to Apple products, including support for the Apple Device Enrollment Program for its clients.

“We are excited to have achieved this important benchmark,” said Ulrik Van Schepdael, founder and CEO of mobco. “Our new status as an Apple Authorized Reseller paves the way for us to provide even greater value to our clients and prospects with a complete mobility portfolio that includes software, hardware and services. Clients can focus on their core businesses and benefit from our expertise in mobile IT and Apple products; they can take advantage of our managed services and strategic advisors for the best possible mobile implementations to facilitate their business transformation. Congratulations to mobco team members for their hard work and diligence in making this happen.”

Press images can be downloaded here >

Download the full press release >

Please find all our contact details here >

 
Jan
10

Enrolling devices should take 0-effort

2017, a new year and new mobile aspirations!

In this first post of the year I would like to share some thoughts on the enrollment of devices. This is the first action your employees take when they sign up for the mobile IT program to get mail, intranet, apps … and most of the time it’s not the best experience – time to change that.

Our objective for 2017 is to make the enrollment or activation of the mobile devices a 0-effort, easy and fail-safe!

How are we going to do that? By taking a very close look how consumer smartphones are sold today… Think about how you installed a new PC a few years ago, after plugging in the hardware and figuring out what connector goes where, you booted the system and it asked for OS installation disks… It was a nightmare for most consumers and only the IT savvy few got their system to work – others called in help. Imagine if Apple or Samsung shipped their smartphones and tablets with the message “please assemble, boot, insert an OS and good luck!”. The user experience but fail all the way and the volumes these companies have set in their targets would never be met. So how do they achieve a better user experience ? The way they approach the device activation is to minimise the user intervention – what can be preloaded on the device will be preloaded and settings we already know (or can derive from others) will be set. It sounds all very simple, and the result is, the preparation is however a complex and labor intensive job.

When we take the next step and use these very same devices for our business, most of us aren’t performing all that well. We ask our users to enter URL’s, download apps, set their username/password in multiple fields, … and every action we ask from them opens a new opportunity for a failed registration. The further our users move in the registration process the more complex issues occur and the more expensive support becomes.

In the above schematic I have visualised 3 important phases in the device lifecycle, you would only expect the middle ‘run’ phase and final End-of-Life, but I have added a first one that comes BEFORE the unboxing of the device. That’s right, before the employee removes the thin foil and switches on the device for the first time.

The green line indicates the effort device manufacturers are putting in when delivering new devices, that’s a lot before they actually ship the devices – and reduces over time to 0. They don’t care too much about the EOL of your consumer device.

Typically in business, the trend is reverse, we don’t think about the device until the moment it contains our information, and we see support increasing over time – we do worry about the EOL and full wipe of all enterprise data before the device is traded on a second hand market. That’s the red line on the graph.

Our mission for 2017 is to put more effort in the configuration of the devices BEFORE these are unboxed. The reason is simple: efforts BEFORE the activation are valid for all, efforts AFTER the activation are device-per-device support – we need this economy of scale to win.

With the Apple and Samsung Device Enrollment Program we have now the tools to do just that! We can take control over the device during the activation and steer it towards our management server to ensure correct, easy and direct registration. Yes, it takes more brain power to define the activation process, to technically describe every step of the registration process, configuration, apps, … but it does put the user experience on the next level.

Interested to learn how we can guarantee 100% success in device registration with 0-support efforts? Curious how even the most non-tech people will be able to activate their smartphone for business without any assistance?

Contact us for more information on the Device Enrollment Program > Check our mobco academy schedule for workshops on the latest deployment practices >

Dec
06

EnterpriseFiles syncs content offline

With the new release of EnterpriseFiles a new feature is available that was in high demand: offline documents!

Using standard configuration profiles pushed by the EMM server, the EnterpriseFiles app receives the instructions to download specific content locally. This new feature allows your employee to access that content at all times, even when there is no data connectivity or access to the file server.

“Customers ask us to distribute emergency plans, but also how to ensure their sales people have the latest powerpoint presentations with them, with this new feature we have a simple tool to do just that!” says Ulrik Van Schepdael. A simple yet powerful tool that allows the administrator to define what folders or files get synchronised to each device, the configuration can vary per user (using AD group membership or any other variable known by the EMM system).

Hint! Did you know you can create a webclip that links to a file or folder inside the EnterpriseFiles app? Create a small icon for “Sales Presentations”, upload the icon to the user’s device and link it to the sales presentation folder in EnterpriseFiles. The user can now access the folder by simply tapping the homescreen icon, just as any other app! You just created your own “Sales Presentations” app!

Let us know if you want to test-drive the app in combination with your per-app-VPN set-up >

Interested to learn how this app integrates in iOS, check our academy schedule >