Apple dominates the consumer market, but when it comes to corporate sales, the tech titan has room to grow.
Nine out of 10 U.S. companies use Apple products. But of those firms, 40% say they use fewer than 100 devices built by the Cupertino, Calif., tech company, according to a recent survey by JAMF Software, which sells software to help businesses manage Apple gadgets.
Apple recently introduced new enterprise-centric features as part of its upcoming iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite operating system releases this fall, hoping to boost corporate market share.
Here are some of those features:
Device enrollment program: Enterprises that purchase iPhones and iPads can use Apple's device enrollment program to receive their gadgets pre-programmed to work with their company's settings. This means that as soon as they open up and turn on their new Apple devices, the gadgets will reconfigure themselves to work with their company's email and Calendar setup. The devices will also instantly download any non-Apple apps that companies choose, such as Microsoft's Office suite.
This program actually launched a few months ago, but for many, its announcement at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference was the first time they'd heard of it.
Passcodes for specific apps: In iOS 8, users will be able to not only lock their devices with passcodes but specific apps too, giving enterprises another layer of security for their data. Apple said users will be able to place passcodes on the Calendar, Contacts, Mail, Messages, Notes and Reminders apps as well as apps made by third-party developers.
Wi-Fi calling: Apple also announced that iOS 8 will support Wi-Fi calling. This feature will enable the iPhone to use Wi-Fi networks to make calls, meaning that users who work in areas with poor reception or those who travel abroad can simply connect to a Wi-Fi network and use it to make a call.
QuickType and third-party keyboards: One complaint that professionals often have about the iPhone is that they don't like its keyboard. Fortunately, Apple announced that it will improve its keyboard with a new feature called QuickType, which predicts what word a user wants to type next. As users type, iOS displays three words above the keyboard that they can tap on to add to what they're writing.
Apple also announced that it will now support keyboards made by third-party developers. That means that when iOS 8 launches this fall you'll be able to download keyboards made by developers outside of Apple and install them as the default for your device.
Updates for Mail: Apple is beefing up its Mail in iOS 8 with several new features that enterprise users will appreciate. For starters, users will have the option to encrypt individual emails using the S/MIME protocol. They'll also be able to quickly mark emails as read or for follow-up with new swipe gestures. Users will also be able to mark individual email threads as VIP so that they receive a notification whenever someone responds to that conversation.
Improved IT management tools: Information technology specialists will also be glad to hear that Apple is giving them several new features. IT professionals will be able to push specific e-books and PDFs to their employees' devices, decide which apps are used to open specific kinds of files, place locks that prevent employees from erasing their devices and check when a gadget was last backed up.