The wireless world is already buzzing in 2013 with new devices, operating systems, phone applications, and security concerns. Amid the device dialogue and announcements, it can be difficult to dial in on the topics that will continue to be talked and typed about just two months in to the year.
Luckily, the mobile tech trend spotters at MaaS360 are always one step ahead of the game, monitoring for new security concerns and the issues that will matter most for wireless workforces around the globe. Here are the top 5 trends that we expect to gain mobile momentum this month leading into March:
Mad Phone Disease
The term “madware” – an aggressive form of mobile advertising – has finally made its way into the mainstream as many different operating systems and mobile devices can become infected. Madware typically begins after a user downloads an infected (and often free) app onto their device which sends false, yet deceivingly realistic, notifications to the user. Anti-virus company Symantec recently began tracking 1.5 million mobile apps for Android smartphones and tablets, and found a 210% increase in madware over the last nine months in 2012. If your employer does not offer a mobile device management (MDM) program, proceed with caution when researching and downloading the free apps that are susceptible to ‘madware’ contamination.
The BlackBerry 10 Announcement
BlackBerry officially announced their new OS and devices last week, and critics have been quick to downplay several of the new functions. A headline on CNN.com said “BlackBerry’s Z10 and BB10 feel a generation late.” Regardless, it will be interesting news to watch closely in February, as loyal BlackBerry customers and businesses weigh in on the challenges and opportunities that the new devices present.
Practical Advice for Working on a Device
The New Year often symbolizes a refresh for many employees who come back from holiday break with a full-speed-ahead mentality. After receiving smartphones and tablets as gifts over the holiday season, the wireless workforce is looking to their devices to get more business done. Here are some quick tips for mastering the mobile tech trifecta (laptop, smartphone, tablet):
- Deactivate any of your old devices and remove unwanted content to avoid clutter. If you haven't used an app in 2 months, it's likely okay to delete it (think of it as the ‘spring cleaning’ equivalent for your mobile app arsenal).
- Use business apps that function properly and effectively across all of your devices so you never miss a beat (good app examples include Evernote and Things).
- Make sure your devices are all connected to a secure, cloud back-up service like iCloud or Google Drive, which make restoring a device quick and easy.
- Minimize or consolidate the number of email accounts you use for both work and personal (rule of thumb is to have one work and one personal) to avoid confusion. Also, use the native client on the device for all accounts rather than accessing corporate and personal mail with separate apps.
- Ask your employer if they have implemented an MDM solution. This will enable you to correctly connect your devices to corporate resources such as mail and other authorized corporate applications while still giving you privacy and separation between your personal life and work life.
Device Manufacturers Embrace BYOD Trends
Samsung, Motorola and other manufacturers are starting to embrace the concept of mixing personal with professional on mobile devices more than ever before, even launching popular ad campaigns to promote the work-friendly nature of their phones. Although many of their concepts are in the early stages, it will be interesting to watch how they embrace these trends and work to balance the protection of corporate data and personal information.
iPad in the Enterprise: A Tablet Transformation
Tablets are still finding their place within the enterprise and are expected to become even more important this year. With all of the new tablet announcements (iPad Mini, Microsoft Surface, Samsung Galaxy, etc.) it will be exciting to see which tablets become the preferred choice for business and which industries will embrace them first. Leveraging BYOD through tablets for your employees can be extremely beneficial, and we predict that their importance will continue to rise throughout the year.