iOS 8 arrives with improved security features

iOS 8, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, was made available for free download on September 17, just two days before the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. iOS 8 is compatible with the iPad 2 and newer, iPhone 4S and up and the fifth-generation iPod Touch. While iOS 7, which was released nearly a full year earlier, introduced a completely revamped interface, iOS 8 focuses more on backend improvements, with a design that is quite similar to its predecessor's.

Among the new features is much improved security, which will keep data safe even from government and law enforcement organizations. All the information that is stored on the devices is now protected by a four-digit passcode that Apple itself cannot bypass. In an open letter published on the company's website, CEO Tim Cook explained, "It's not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8."

These measures also extend to less extreme situations, such as sharing data with advertisers. "Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products," read Cook's letter. "We don't build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers." Apple also recently tightened the security of its iCloud storage service.

This is also good news for companies. Business managers should be more comfortable adopting a "bring your own device" approach knowing that the iPhone, which is by far the smartphone market share leader in the U.S., can keep sensitive information safe. As Apple continues its ongoing product rollout, IT services specialists can help companies take full advantage of the new technologies, and even provide specific Apple training services.