The new iPhone 7 was revealed yesterday at a media event in San Francisco. I watched the live stream like millions of others and hoped that Apple would once again demonstrate how the technology will continue to shape our everyday lives.

On first impression, the new iteration looks every bit as great as the last. Users expect outstanding quality and design and I don’t think we will be disappointed when we finally get to see the device in the flesh. Inside the new, beautifully milled and formed case, we see advances in many areas of the core technology. New camera(s) and flashes, increased performance, better connectivity and a new home button, which I’m sure will help drive upgrades for many end users and businesses. However, we didn’t see a step-change for the overall iPhone range, but perhaps that’s to be expected given its current appeal (if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it).

What? No headphone socket?

Let’s face it: the death of the headphone socket wasn’t a shock. I’m pretty sure folks at Apple have been giving it the stink-eye for a good few years and now they finally brought the guillotine down on it. Like many connector formats and technologies before it, Apple decided it was time to put it out to pasture (CD drive, Ethernet connector, FireWire, etc) and I applaud the move. When we come to realise the advantages of the new digital connection we will soon forget about that little silver plug thing from the ‘70s. The iPhone 7 does show an excellent evolution and challenges the other manufactures to raise their game in terms of function, execution and ‘brand stickiness’.

But are AirPods really a new thing?

From a personal perspective, I was disappointed to hear Apple claim to have released the first truly wireless earphones when there are successful wireless earphone brands in the market right now. I have been a Bragi Dash user for almost a year so well aware of the other startups that have been leading the charge on this innovation for quite some time.

The great promise of iOS 10

For us at Wandera, the OS is the most exciting new component of any device. It’s the fundamental cornerstone of the user experience and it allows us to deliver our services to customers. iOS 10 shows great promise. We have been testing every build of iOS 10 since it was released to the developer community and we are currently good to go for support on the new OS and platform. The new OS has many new features that make it an attractive upgrade, even on older devices. For example, the OS is actually smaller, therefore saving you some space on your smaller iPhones. ‘App thinning’ continues to be a core function, meaning that graphics and other large app assets are not downloaded to the device if they are not required. New ‘storage optimization’ for your music also means that those songs you haven’t listened to for years will still be available, but won’t be eating up your storage.

An important reason to upgrade

From a security perspective iOS 10 raises the bar for app developers with stricter requirements for using https, so hopefully, less PII will be floating off into the ether without your knowledge. It’s all good news considering the 140 billion apps we’ve all downloaded from the App Store. We were recently looking at the breakdown of devices and OS versions on our service and we can still see quite a few iOS 7 and 8 users (see chart below). The iPhone 4S and older iPhone models can’t be updated to newer iOS versions, which should be a concern for users especially given that security patches aren’t being shipped for those older devices.
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As we have seen just last week, older iOS versions can be compromised with the Pegasus tool with a frightening level of sophistication. iOS 10 will of course include all the new security patches that were hurried out for iOS 9.3.5 last week (and Mac OS 10.11.6 for that matter). If the flashy features of the iPhone 7 are not appealing enough, then perhaps a lack of built-in OS security will be a good reason to ask your company for an newer device with iOS 9 or 10 installed. In summary it was a good event, and I’m sure the evolution of existing Apple products and services will be big success for Apple and its users. But don’t just be motivated to upgrade because of the eye-candy, there is real substance in the new devices and OS that will help you protect your data.