IT Management Slideshow: 10 Apple Products You'll Need to Evaluate This YearBy Don Reisinger | Posted 01-17-2012
Apple MacBook Air
The lightweight computer, which features a thin body, is well-priced, well-designed, and a top option for any company that wants to switch to Macs, yet keep employees productive while on-the-go.
Apple iPad 2
iPads are already making inroads in the enterprise. If you haven't done so already, now is the time to put the iPad 2 through its paces and figure out where it fits in your operation. But act fast: A new model will be out soon.
Apple iPad 3
iPad 3 is reported to be due out in the coming months. That tablet will likely come with a better display than its predecessor, plus iOS5, an enhanced design, perhaps 4G connectivity and, possibly, the Siri voice recognition app that's been so popular on the iPhone 4S.
Apple iPhone 4S
Apple's iPhone 4S likely won't be replaced for months, which gives you plenty of time to evaluate it. Deploying the iPhone will not only please your tech-savvy CEO, it might also improve morale among younger workers tired of the old BlackBerry.
Apple iPhone 5
Speculation abounds that Apple will be launching the long-rumored iPhone 5 later this year. And when it does, you can expect to get knocks on your office door from employees asking if it will be coming to the office. Tell them you'll evaluate the device and get back to them -- it'll be the smart move.
All this talk of iPads and iPhones misses one important point: in order to evaluate those products, you'll need to also take a look at their operating system. And that software, iOS 5, is considered more enterprise-friendly than any of the previous Apple mobile platforms, and well ahead of its Android competitors in that regard. It's no BlackBerry OS, of course, but it's worth another look.
If you're planning to go with iOS or Mac OS X this year, there's no debating that you'll need to also examine iCloud. Apple's online syncing solution keeps calendar, media, and other content synced across multiple devices, including PCs. Is it right for your users?
Apple App Store
Apple's App Store is a great place to get business-focused applications, but it's also a potential productivity and security killer. Evaluate Apple's mobile store to see what sort of programs employees should use, install them on their devices, and then lock the store down.
Apple Mac OS X
Although you can run Windows on Macs nowadays, it's not something most people do. The Mac OS X operating system works so well. But, for users who need to core enterprise access applications that are only Windows compatible, you'll want to know if Windows for Mac can meet your demands.
Microsoft Office has always been a favorite of companies around the world, but as of late, it's been losing some of its market share to simpler solutions, such as Google Docs. So, what about Apple's iWork platform? Sure, it's not an Office replacement, but for companies that don't rely so heavily on productivity suites, it might be a desirable solution. It's certainly worth a look.