It's an unlikely pairing. Apple and IBM, working together to develop industry tools for iOS and promote corporate iPhone and iPad use. But following on from a strong start back in December, the two companies announced on Tuesday the launch of 10 new apps.
According to PCWorld, one of the apps, Safe Site, uses iBeacons to alert workers with an iPhone when they're approaching a work site hazard. iBeacons use Bluetooth low energy proximity sensing to transmit information to nearby devices. The app will also allow workers to report unsafe working conditions to their employers.
Four apps come as part of an "employee experience" package. Shift Track and Shift Sync are aimed at hourly workers such as those in cafes. The former is an iPad app targeted at employers for tracking schedules, while the latter is an iPhone and Apple Watch app for employees to manage their schedule. The two apps support sick days, vacation requests, and shift trades.
Travel Plan and Travel Track are for business travelers. The former is for planning a trip, allowing employees to view their travel history, book a hotel and find a suitable time to schedule a trip. Travel Track provides the itinerary and supports push notifications for flight boarding times and important meetings. The app also supports Apple Watch, meaning a traveler can quickly view schedules on his or her wrist.
Loan Advise and Loan Track are aimed at mortgage officers. While Advise offers real-time client information to provide the best advice to clients possible, Track analyzes the current loan applications to advise employees on which applications are likely to close soon, and then outlines what's needed to complete the application.
Expert Resolve, Asset Inspect and Field Inspect are aimed at employees working in the field inspecting equipment. While Expert Resolve and Asset Inspect are aimed at repair work, with the former aimed at cataloging work done on individual machines and the latter providing predictive analytics to suggest why something is not working, Field Inspect is instead aimed at government agencies. The app allows inspectors to take pictures and video with the iPad and send them over to the relevant agency.
Since the December launch, the partnership has yielded two smaller app launches. In March, IBM announced three apps targeted at the airline, retail and banking industries. In April, the two companies announced plans to bring iPads to 5 million Japanese senior citizens, complete with special apps with medication, diet and exercise information.
Apple reported huge sales for Q3 2015 on Tuesday, making over $10 billion in profit. Apple announced record-breaking revenue from its services in its quarterly report, which according to CEO Tim Cook, was driven by the App Store.