The Citrix XenMobile team is happy to announce full iOS 8 compatibility for all editions of XenMobile (cloud or on-premise) including: XenMobile MDM, App, and Enterprise Editions.

iOS 8

About iOS 8

iOS 8 is the latest software release, from Apple, meant for its mobile product line. iOS 8 is compatible with iPhone 4s onwards, iPod 5th generation, iPad 2 onwards, iPad Mini 1st generation onwards and Apple TV 3rd generation onwards. What this means, is that iOS 8 will rapidly become, the dominant iOS platform.

iOS 8 is a massive release, and improves upon iOS 7 in many ways.  While it’s hard to call out all the little things here, let me focus on what I consider as the top 5 features of this release:

  1. With iOS 8, Apple really opened the platform to developers, with over 4000 new APIs. 3rd party keyboards, App Extensions, new technologies for game development, ability to leverage Touch ID in all 3rd party apps, PhotoKit, CloudKit, …
  2. Apple Payments – This is going to fuel the NFC payment market, given the proliferation of iOS devices, and the vendor tie-ups Apple has announced.
  3. HealthKit – With the announcement of HeathKit framework, for iOS developers to leverage, iPhones are expected to set a new trend as true fitness devices.
  4. Continuity – This is a new theme Apple has developed, with its Handoff capabilities baked into iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. Continuity simply means, start your note / email / message /… on one device, and seamlessly complete it on another. All devices are always in sync, and ready to handoff; whenever, wherever.
  5. Touch ID – Apple announced Touch ID for the first time with iOS 7, but its usage was limited to device unlock and App store purchases. With iOS 8, Apple has now opened the Touch ID framework to all developers; which means that the way we work on our iPhones / iPads, is about to undergo a major transformation. No pins, No passwords – simply touch!

Beyond these end user facing enhancements, Apple also announced some very meaningful features, which are more relevant to the Enterprise customers. Some of the prominent ones being:

  1. Redesigned User Experience for MDM– iOS has given a fresh and clean look to the Enrolment experience, providing end users much better insight into what happens, as they enroll with a MDM server. This will lead to users having a better understanding of what it means to enroll their devices, and hence better trust with their corporate IT.iOS 8 MDM UX Simplification
  2. Touch ID – Most enterprises deploy EMM solutions, which enforce pin/password protection on all corporate resources. This can sometimes, become annoying for the end user. Touch ID will make this experience seamless, and yet provide a strong biometric security system.
  3. New Restrictions – iOS 8 brings along a number of new restrictions, that admins can now enforce for better security. Some examples being the ability to disable Handoff, disable iCloud sync for managed apps, disable erase all content and settings, …
  4. Install and Manage Books – iOS 8 now allows enterprise delivery of books, similar to apps. This ability to manage books, opens up a whole new world of managing and controlling content, securely and seamlessly.
  5. Managed Domains – MDM servers can now define Managed Domains, which apply to Safari browser. Managed domains represent URLs, which come under managed realm. What that means is, that an admin can now define their corporate network domain, as a managed domain, and all documents downloaded from this domain can be opened, only with Managed apps. This is an extremely powerful feature.
  6. Improved iOS 8 Mail app – iOS 8 brings some exciting enhancements to the Mail app. Free / Busy Notifications, VIP threads, Out of Office settings, and much more.

What does 100% Compatibility mean?

EMM or Enterprise Mobility Management is a vast world, and entails a number of different technologies – Mobile Device Management, Mobile Application Management, Mobile Content Management.

Mobile Device Management – XenMobile provides full MDM support for iOS 8, and this was announced here, a week back. What this means is that all existing use cases supported by XenMobile, in an MDM context, continue to work flawlessly, as end users upgrade to iOS 8. IT will have all controls functional, to ensure security and productivity.

Mobile Application Management – XenMobile provides to our customers, as part of XenMobile App Edition and XenMobile Enterprise Edition, the ability to define and enforce security controls of enterprise applications.  Additionally, we also provide a number of productivity applications including WorxMail, WorxWeb, WorxNotes, WorxEdit, WorxDesktop and ShareFile.  We have now released a new MDX toolkit, and productivity apps, designed for full compatibility with iOS 8. This ensures that as end users upgrade to iOS 8, they are as productive as ever, and all policy controls continue to provide seamless security.

Mobile Content Management – Citrix XenMobile includes Citrix ShareFile, for managing all enterprise content, on mobile devices, securely. ShareFile is tightly integrated into the XenMobile product suite, and provides seamless data access, and intelligent workflows, in tandem with our productivity apps, such as WorxMail and WorxNotes.  We have now released, an iOS 8 compatible version of our MDX wrapped ShareFile app, to ensure end users upgrading to iOS 8, have unconstrained access to their data and workflows.

iOS 8 iPad Screenshot with Citrix Worx Apps
iOS 8 iPad Screenshot with Citrix Worx Apps

Road to Compatibility

Citrix is a committed Apple Partner and with more mobile productivity apps than any other EMM provider is engaged around all the new development on an ongoing basis. At WWDC 2014, Apple gave all developers, a preview of iOS 8, with specific MDM insights to all the MDM partners. XenMobile team has been engaged since that time, in better understanding the new iOS 8 capabilities, and drafting a roadmap, to deliver these to our customers. We have actively been testing with iOS 8 betas, and working on making our apps and servers, 100% compatible for iOS 8 management. We have also been providing proactive guidance to all of our customers, on how to plan for their iOS 8 rollouts; and starting today, all the necessary tools to facilitate the process.

As our CEO, Mark Templeton always states, our customers are the heart of Citrix.  We sincerely thank our customers for their patience.  Our goal at Citrix is to deliver higher quality products and our customers’ support plays a critical role in achieving this goal.