Apple Extensibility And Powerful Network Effects
Apple’s new "Extensibility" feature took somewhat of a backseat to a host of exciting new developer tools announced at Apple’s developer conference a week ago. I’d like to briefly highlight its importance to the enterprise.
In short, Extensibility makes it easy for apps to talk to each other, facilitating more complex mobile workflows and easy access to data stored in personal cloud services. It will spur app developers work together to speed the advancement of what employees will be able to accomplish on mobile.
To elaborate, Extensibility will enable:
- Complex inter-app workflows for mobile employees. More advanced content creation apps have been slow to develop on mobile platforms, in part due to lack of app interoperability. Think of the multiple software tools we use to pull a contract from email, sign it, and send it back on a PC. Data must similarly flow across a variety of apps to accomplish this on mobile. Apple has done little to address this, until now.
- Access to the personal cloud in enterprise apps. Employees rely on personal cloud services like Dropbox and Evernote to manage an expanding array of digital content online. But these repositories don’t integrate with the enterprise off the bat. Extensibility can act as a router to connect personal data with the apps your employees use every day on the job.
Also addressing the interoperability gap, Filepicker (formerly Ink Mobility) empowers developers with a set of rules and commands to customize data integrations with personal cloud services, and Facebook recently rolled out Deep Linking to facilitate content links across native apps.
Why CIOs should take note: If your developers custom-code for iOS, consider how tools like Extensibility can extend the functionality of your most prevalent enterprise mobile apps. The more data interoperates, the more advanced functionality you can bring to mobile employees, customers, and partners.