I didn’t watch the iPhone 5 presentation from start to finish, but Apple apparently described additional features in iOS 6 that we hadn’t heard about before including App Lock. It does exactly what it sounds like: it locks the iPad into a single app. Think of dedicated uses like a cash register, or hospital patient management tool.
My first reaction to this was a negative one. It sort of smacks of Apple biting the hand that fed it. After all, one of the reasons the iPad has had so much success penetrating the enterprise is because workers simply started using them on the job – whether IT approved or not. This occurred to an extent that forced some Fortune 500 IT departments to work with the iPad pretty much whether they wanted to or not.
And no doubt those workers enjoyed the flexibility inherent in having their own iPads as work tools. Everything from having their own photos, games, and media to other apps of their choosing. With App Lock, that’s no more. It’s as if Apple is saying, “To all you folks who brought your iPads to work, we thank you for the Trojan horse, but now you’re screwed.”
On the other hand, by this point so many people have gotten so ingrained in the benefits of iPad usage that, presented with a locked down corporate iPad, I can’t see many of them simply dropping their personal iPads. Said another way, App Lock gives rigid corporate IT departments (and let’s face it, they exist) a rationale to purchase iPads en masse. Those are incremental sales for Apple above and beyond those already sold to people for personal use. That’s a good thing, certainly for Apple at least.
I feel for the worker bee who now has to carry two iPads – their own as well as the one issued by ‘corporate.’ However, better to carry two iPads than two laptops…
Here’s a great piece in Wired that discusses App Lock, and other corporate efforts by Apple, at length.
By the way I apologize for any errors in this post. It’s my first made to this blog via email…