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A Business User’s Guide to Updating the Apple Season

A Business User's Guide to Updating the Apple Season

Now is a good time to get your business ready for Apple’s hardware and software upgrade season.

We come to that time of year when enterprise IT is getting ready to support teams as they update all of their Apple operating systems on smartphones, tablets and Macs.

The need for a stress-free upgrade process is accompanied by a new demand for hardware upgrades as new iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac models appear. Are your employees ready for the season? It is?

When are the new operating systems delivered?

Apple will unveil its new iPhone 13 at a special event on Tuesday at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET). The new devices may be available for pre-order three days later, on September 17, and the hardware will be shipped to retail stores on September 24.

Apple will launch its new iOS 15 / iPad OS 15 operating systems for iPhone and iPad at about the same time, usually just before product delivery. History is your guide: iOS 14 and iPad OS 14 were released on September 16, 2020 with new iPads. IPhones followed (along with the release of iOS 14.1) on October 13th. IOS 13 was delivered on September 19, 2019, the day before the iPhone 11 enters stores.

Next, I imagine that MacOS Monterey will be delivered on time to support Apple’s next Mac event anticipated in October.

You should try the beta versions immediately.

It is reasonable to anticipate that many employees will upgrade (or want to upgrade) their Apple devices when the operating systems are shipped. We hope that the IT department has worked with the beta versions of these facilities (available here) to identify potential issues or conflicts with your company’s enterprise security systems or protocols. If not, time is short and should speed up such an investigation.

Essential: If your company uses proprietary or older apps, it’s essential to confirm that they’ll be compatible with iOS 15. Otherwise, you’ll need to delay the upgrade or replace the app / service.

Talk to your MDM provider

Mobile device management (MDM) software developers tend to work closely with Apple to provide day-to-day support as new operating systems are delivered. Jamf, for example, has always provided this. What this means is that when your operating system is updated, your MDM provider is able to automate updates across your entire fleet. It makes sense to confirm whether your provider will provide such support this year and also to determine how the installation should be done.

How will you implement the operating system this year? It may make sense to give end users control over update time, especially since their remote computers may be working. You may want updates to take place at night, for example.

Talk to your employees

Your computers should be advised to take time to update, as you may need to check your login, VPNs, and other passwords at that time. Make sure they have the time and information they need to support this process.

Your company policy may delay installation, in which case it is wise to inform employees about this before they are too caught up in the inevitable hype of Apple software.

Also, make sure that your computers have access to the data connections that they need for these updates.

Troubleshooting tips

Things can go wrong when the system software is updated. A failed internet connection in the middle of the installation can cause problems, for example. Since many company employees will work remotely, it makes sense to distribute routine installation and troubleshooting tips first.

Basic installation and troubleshooting tips:

Please note important passwords for Apple ID, VPN, Wi-Fi, and business services before upgrading.

Installed applications cleaned in the spring, remove the ones you no longer use.

Back up your device to iCloud or local hardware before installation.

Be prepared for short-term performance after installation. This usually indicates that the device will re-index and resolve within a few hours.

After the update, the device may appear slowly. Before you panic, restart your device (iPhone, iPad), as this will fix these issues more often.

Be prepared to update all your apps, most of which should already be available in iOS 15 versions.

Battery life: If the battery life is shortened, force the device to restart. If that doesn’t help, check to see if an app is using large amounts of battery power in Settings> Battery> Battery usage. Update or remove and reinstall anything that might do so.

If nothing else works, try Resetting all settings: Settings> General> Reset and choose Reset all settings. You will be asked for the password to complete this process; then you need to reconnect all your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices.

Users should become familiar with Apple’s support communities, where they should be able to find answers and solutions to routine problems.

The hope is that if your people have enough information to solve any routine installation challenges that arise on their own, your support teams will be able to focus their time on more serious issues that may arise.

Known issues from beta testing

While most of these issues are likely to be resolved by the time of the final release, some of the issues frequently reported during the iOS 15 beta testing process include:

Files – If you choose Open in a new window for a file, it may close unexpectedly.

Widgets: You may encounter unstable widget categories because selecting one opens the wrong collection. Get out there and try again. The Home screen may close when you drag a widget from a gallery.

Camera: Panorama can produce what Apple calls «unexpected results» in low power mode. Live text may not be available.

Battery life: Excessive battery discharge has been reported when using the beta version.

Additional issues were reported when installing the beta using SharePlay Restore Images, Availability, and Consistency.

What to expect

It was definitely adorned with rumors about the iPhone 13 on all channels, so I won’t spend much time with this short list. That being said, here are some of the ones currently anticipated.

A faster A15 processor that offers about 20% performance and graphics improvements and a slightly longer battery life.

Potentially an AMOLED screen with a refresh rate of 120Hz.

A smaller notch and better support for Face ID masks.

Improved camera with better wide-angle lens, optical image stabilization and a new astrophotography mode.

The iPhone will support 5W mmWave in additional markets, which could have some positive benefits for remote workers. Emergency satellite transmission in some markets.

Stronger MagSafe magnets and reverse charging support may also appear at launch.

New iPads and Apple Watch 7 will also appear.