IT these days is an interesting beast. With the general acceptance of Bring Your Own Box (BYOB) to work, I’m free to choose whatever devices I want to use and be able to use them to access my enterprise services. Net effect companies get more of my time while I’m not in the office doing work for them and they don’t have to buy me a device to use. While this sounds dreary, I’m happy to buy into this because it also means I can get to work from home more often which is nice.
That said, it feels like IT has gone out of its way to make the process so painful – under the guise of security – to make me opt out of this. You see, to get to these services, IT says I have to have a device PIN. iOS loves 4-digit PIN’s so this isn’t bad. Tap-Tap-Tap-Tap and it’s unlocked. On my iPad, I used to open my SmartCover tapped four times, and I was in. The IT changed the required length to something longer than four digits. Not a big deal right? Except now I have to tap in the code and then OK, since iOS doesn’t know how long the new code is. Tap-Tap-Tap-Tap-Tap-Tap-Tap-Tap-Tap-Tap-OK.
One of the best feature of my iPad Mini is that I can open the cover and the device comes awake. If I don’t have a PIN at all, it’s on the screen I last had on. It’s seamless. Makes me choose between getting my work email on my device or having the device respond that much faster when I want it to…
Tough decision: I don’t think I’ve opened the Mail app on the iPad in weeks.
In the interest of recycling bits, some random observations about iOS5… some of which have been a long time coming for the iPhone:
- Ringtones are now supported for alerts: you can finally use your own m4r files for reminder tones
- Syncing over Wifi: great to have, but slower than the cable. Also of note: turn off the “start iTunes when you connect a device” option if you don’t want iTunes to pop up on your desktop just because your iPhone is charging
- Emoji enabled: I’m not sure if this is available without the old hack, but it’s still in my available keyboards, so it might be… either way, good to still see it supported
- Quick camera: even with my lock screen requirements due to my IT department, I find it great that I can double-click the home button and have access to the camera without having to unlock the thing
- You can now manually refresh the calendar! At least I think you can… while looking at your calendar, hit the Calendars button on the upper left and you’ll be shown a list of available calendars. In the lower left, there’s a refresh icon, that seems to refresh the data of all the calendars. If you only have one calendar installed, I don’t know if this is available… maybe the “Calendar” button becomes “Refresh”.
And in the still needs improvement area – maybe for iOS6:
- Shuffle by Album: still missing since the release of the iPhone
- Video App: I still don’t understand why (or how) to turn on Series names in the TV Show section of the video application
More as it is discovered.