Apple’s forthcoming update iOS 7.1 is rumored to hit devices sometime in March and with it will come bug fixes and tweaks to the user interface. As Appleinsider reported, also rumored is the inclusion of “a major overhaul of the Mobile Device Management mass deployment system and will launch alongside a totally new "Volume Services" Web client.” iOS 7.1 may be an update headed for the corporate market as well as front-end users.
Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a way of distributing software and data across a fleet of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Companies will use MDM services to keep their devices, in Apple’s case iPhones and iPads, up to date with the most current versions of apps among other things. The speculated overhaul and inclusion of Volume Services shows Apple’s commitment to moving iOS devices into the enterprise and educational arenas. Volume Services enables clients to “easily find, buy, and distribute apps and books to users,” according to the now live Volume Services website.
The update to the MDM system comes after students in Los Angeles were able to bypass management profiles on educational devices at their school. Last year Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) struck a deal with the Cupertino-based company to start issuing iPads to their students. Students at Roosevelt High School in East LA found a way to deactivate the location services, which were supposed to be locked on the devices. In addition, social media websites were blocked initially by the MDM services, but the crafty students overturned that block too. Fixing the hackable glitch is only one aspect of the new MDM service. It will allow account managers to supervise mass deployments like the one at the LAUSD.
Apple’s iOS 7 was one of the most successful operating system launches. By December, three months after the launch of iOS 7, 78 percent of users had switched to the new OS. That number has grown to 82 percent as of Feb. 9, with a decline in both iOS 6 and previous versions of iOS.