So we continue our best Mobile OS’s for rugged solutions Blog with a look at one of the game changers of the past few years. Apple revolutionised the music industry with their iPod and, more to the point, iTunes and then they came looking at the smartphone and tablet market. At the time, they had unparalleled success with both their iPhone and iPad products, they were cool, they were desirable and they were pretty good but do people use them in business and are they mission critical?
Apple are very keen to point out that IOS is a “mobile” OS built for the job and that anything Microsoft and Nokia had at the time was just trying to get a desktop experience on the mobile handset, and you know what, they were right. IOS came in various flavours, for Tablet, iPhone and iPod but essentially it was the same simple but effective OS to use and it hasn’t changed much to date.
IOS gives a great user experience, still the best in my view bit does it hold up in a business environment?
Pro’s of IOS
- Best interface out there…still, whether we’re talking iPhone or iPad!
- Beautifully crafted development environment – I still miss it after picking it up for a project a year ago. It’s clean, has lovely purpose built functionality and it works well.
- Developer network is growing, it is big enough to get decent help now.
- The controls available to create apps are very nice indeed.
- Apple owns IOS and you join a manufacturer lead developer program just like Microsoft’s.
Con’s of IOS
- You need Apple computers and OSX to develop with so your users will have different PC’s, need training and the whole OS will be alien to your company.
- IOS developer tools are unique and ditto on the above. XCode, objective C++ etc all need learning.
- Developers and expertise are less abundant.
- IOS is locked down. You can’t do a lot with it, so if there’s something you want to do but can’t then you have to literally break the OS to make it work. If the jailbroken of IOS is 3 times the size of the actual Apple store and developer network then tha proves the point.
- Difficult to get non-public apps onto the devices.
- IOS changes every year, it also leaves behind older versions of IOS every 18-24 months. You’re forced to upgrade in a word.
- Locked in to the hardware. You have no way of running your application on anything else if the hardware fails.
- Windows may get slated but IOS has bugs and hackers too. Apple are extremely slow to respond to these when compared to Microsoft’s update process.
Our thoughts on IOS Rugged
Well to be honest IOS is great fun, it’s awesome getting apps running on an iPhone and it’s still the best Tablet platform as we speak now which might explain the eye opening table above. But and this is a really big But. It’s neither rugged or mission critical as an OS. Most companies are looking to run they solution for 3-5 years and they need to know there will be hardware available for it years to come. With IOS you have no choice and your OS may even become unsupported mid-way through your life-cycle so beware of this. Also make sure you understand that ruggedness usually has to be inherently built-in to a device. A case makes the iPhone durable but not rugged.
IOS isn’t Rugged unless you have a short solution time span, you’re buying an app and you are changing your hardware frequently to keep.
The Rugged and Mobile blog.