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What businesses need to know about Touch ID and iOS 8

CITEworld

Apple introduced Touch ID along with the iPhone 5s and iOS 7 last fall. At launch, the technology was limited to two purposes – acting as a shortcut for a user’s passcode to unlock the device, and acting as an alternative to a user’s Apple ID and password when making purchases from Apple’s iTunes Store, App Store, and iBookstore.

With iOS 8, Apple is expanding the capabilities of Touch ID significantly by giving developers the APIs needed to use Touch ID as an authentication/authorization method in third-party apps. This is a powerful expansion of the technology, and one that could be applied to a wide range of different types of apps.

It’s easy to see the value of Touch ID in mobile commerce apps, as well as in mobile banking apps - PayPal was one of the first companies to express an interest in integrating Touch ID into its app and services. Password managers like 1Password from Agilebits are also prime uses for the technology. Apps that store confidential or sensitive information — like health and medical apps — can also benefit from integrating Touch ID.

Business and productivity apps, especially those designed to provide secure access to a company’s corporate resources and cloud services, are also areas where Touch ID could be implemented. That raises questions for IT leaders in many organizations to ask themselves:

  • Is it a good idea to build Touch ID into our internal apps?
  • Should we allow, encourage, or support Touch ID in apps from cloud storage and collaboration vendors?
  • Are there reasons to avoid Touch ID, either in enterprise or third-party apps?

Given that it seems almost certain that Apple will expand the well-received TouchID to any additional iOS devices launching later this year, these aren’t hypothetical questions. They’re questions that organizations will likely face as soon as Apple releases iOS 8 this fall.

Touch ID and the Secure Enclave

At a hardware level, Touch ID includes two primary components: Touch ID Sensor, the fingerprint scanner built into the device’s home button, and the Secure Enclave, a coprocessor that is integrated into Apple’s A7 chip. The Secure Enclave is connected to the Touch ID Sensor and is responsible for processing fingerprint scans. Each Secure Enclave has a unique identity (UID) provisioned during the A7′s fabrication process that cannot be accessed by other iOS components, and that is unknown even to Apple.

Touch ID is actually just one function of the Secure Enclave. Additional functions like cryptographic protection for data protection key management were identified in the iOS Security Guide that Apple released in February. Additional details were discussed during the Keychain and Authentication with Touch ID session at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference last month, which can be streamedfrom Apple’s developer site (and a PDF of the presentation slides from the session is also available). Going forward, it seems clear that the Secure Enclave will be a key part of iOS security functions, beyond merely handling fingerprint identification.

It’s also worth mentioning that although the Touch ID Sensor is currently only available on the iPhone 5s, the additional functionality of the Secure Enclave is built into any iOS device with an A7 chip, which currently includes the iPad Air, iPad mini with Retina Display in addition to the iPhone 5c, opening the door for more security features down the line.

Touch ID and a user’s passcode

Apple hasn’t envisioned Touch ID as a standalone biometric authentication system (or part of a multi-factor authentication solution). That means that it isn’t a replacement for a passcode. An iPhone 5s user must supply a passcode to enable Touch ID and once enabled, Touch ID is effectively a shortcut or pointer to a passcode.

The value that Touch ID offers is that it boasts the benefits of a complex passcode without the hassle of typing it dozens or hundreds of times a day – it makes a complex passcode easier to use.

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Combining the Flexibility of Public-Cloud Apps with the Security of Private-Cloud Data White Paper

CITEworld

Cloud applications are a priority for every business – the technology is flexible, easy-to-use, and offers compelling economic benefits to the enterprise. The challenge is that cloud applications increase the potential for corporate data to leak, raising compliance and security concerns for IT. A primary security concern facing organizations moving to the cloud is how to secure and control access to data saved in cloud applications.

This white paper explores technologies that combine the flexibility of public cloud apps like Salesforce and Box, with the security and compliance of a private cloud. When deployed as part of an end-to-end data protection program, such an approach can provide the same security and assurances as can be achieved with premises-based applications.

Comprehensive Data Protection in the Cloud

In today’s business, IT may no longer own or manage the apps, the devices, or the underlying network infrastructure, yet is still responsible for securing sensitive corporate data. While cloud application vendors secure their infrastructure, the security of the data remains the responsibility of the customer using the application. A comprehensive approach to data security in cloud environments covers the full lifecycle of data in an organization—in the cloud, on the device, and at the point of access.

•In the Cloud—Most cloud apps don’t encrypt data-at-rest, and those that do encrypt manage the keys themselves. For organizations in regulated industries and/or with sensitive data stored in these apps, the ability to maintain confidentiality of corporate data remains unsolved.

•At Access—Cloud apps provide limited access control, data leakage prevention, and visibility when compared with applications hosted on premises. This makes it difficult to control who, what, where, and when employees access cloud applications.

•On the Device—Since cloud applications can be accessed from any device, anywhere, a comprehensive security solution should include protection for cloud application data on client devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Click here to view the full white paper

 

Mobile Facts To Keep In Mind – Part 1

Monday Note

By the end of 2014, many news media will collect around 50% of their page views via mobile devices. Here are trends to remember before devising a mobile strategy. (First of a two-part series.)

In the news business, mobile investments are on the rise. That’s the pragmatic response to a major trend: Users shift from web to mobile. Already, all major media outlets are bracing for a momentous threshold: 50% of their viewership coming from mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). Unfortunately, the revenue stream is not likely to follow anytime soon: making users pay for mobile content has proven much more difficult than hoped for. As for advertising, the code has yet to be cracked for (a) finding formats that won’t trigger massive user rejection, and (b) monetizing in ways comparable to the web (i.e. within the context of a controlled deflation). Let’s dive into a few facts:

Apps vs. WebApps or Mobile sites. A couple of years ago, I was among those who defended web apps (i.e. encapsulated HTML5 coding, not tied to a specific OS platform) vs. native apps (for iOS, Android, Windows Phone). The idea was to give publishers more freedom and to avoid the 30% app store levy. Also, every publisher had in mind the success enjoyed by the FT.com when it managed to put all its eggs in its web app and so retain complete control over the relationship with its customers.

All of the above remains true but, from the users’ perspective, facts speak loudly: According to Flurry Analytics, apps now account for 86% of the time spent by mobile users vs. 14% for mobile sites (including web apps.) A year ago, the balance was 80% for apps and 20% for mobile web.

Trend #1: Native apps lead the game
at the expense of web apps and mobile sites 

One remark, though: the result must take in account the weight of games and Facebook apps that account for 50% of the time spent on mobile. News-related usage leans more to mobile as there is not (yet) demand for complex rendering as in a gaming app. But as far news applications are concerned, we haven’t seen major breakthroughs in mobile web or web apps over the last months and it seems development is stalling.

News vs. the rest of the app world. On a daily total of 2hrs 50mn spent by mobile users (source: eMarketer), 2% to 5% of that time is spent on news. Once you turn to growth, the small percentage number starts to look better: The news segment is growing faster (+64% Y/Y) than messaging and social (+28%) or gaming and entertainment (+9% each); the fastest usage segment being the productivity apps (+119%) and that’s due to the transfer of professional uses from the desktop to the mobile.

Trend #2: On mobile, news is growing faster
than game or social 

…And it will grow stronger as publishers will deploy their best efforts to adjust contents and features to small screens and on-the-go usage and as mobile competitors multiply.

Click to read more…

Digital News Finally As Popular As Newspapers In The UK

TechCrunch

Reports of the death of print have been greatly accelerated, judging by research from UK telecoms watchdog Ofcom.

The research has found that in the UK digital news, consumed via apps or websites, has only just reached parity with news consumed via ink and dead trees.

Yep those old media newspaper thingies are surprisingly sticky — and not just in the way their column inches adhere to one’s fingers.

Ofcom found that around 41% of people say they now access news on websites and apps — up significantly from around a third (32%) last year.

But despite digital news’ rising popularity, rates of newspaper usage are remaining steady overall — unchanged at four in 10 people (40%), year on year. However Ofcom’s report does note a decline in print readership “particular among the under-35s” over the past year.

Both newspapers and apps still massively trail the UK’s main source of news: the TV, although once you segment Brits by age then digital platforms come out as the primary news source for the younger age group (16 to 24).

Overall, Ofcom found that 75% of respondents identified the TV as their primary news source, down slightly from 78% in 2013. The research also notes a fall in people saying a particular TV channel is their most important source for news (down to 54% from 62% in 2013).

Ofcom says the rising popularity of digital news is being driven by increased mobile and tablet usage among younger Brits.

Some 60% of these younger Brits said they are consuming digital news in 2014, up from 44% last year. And around 45% of this age group said websites or apps are their most important sources for news, up from 30% in 2013.

The research also found that young Brits are 10x more likely than those aged 55 and over to access news on a mobile (40% vs just 4%), and twice as likely to access news via a tablet (15% vs 7%).

The converse is true when it comes to TV news — with older Brits consuming considerably more hours per year of TV news than younger Brits. Ofcom found that the over 55s watch an average of 196 hours of TV news each year vs just 27 hours for 16-24 year olds, who in turn watch 88 fewer hours of TV news than the average UK adult (115 hours a year).

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The hottest trend in mobile: going offline!

Computerworld

The consumer electronics industry has spent the past 20 years making everything connect wirelessly to the Internet — from PCs to TVs, cameras and speakers.

This includes, of course, the most wireless of wireless devices, the ubiquitous smartphone.

Your average smartphone connects wirelessly in three ways: via mobile broadband, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth — all of which get faster, more reliable and more widely available all the time.

So why is there now a big trend in the industry to make apps work in places where no Internet connection is available?

A dream abandoned

Years ago, the dream was to blanket the world with universal connectivity. Entire cities would be blanketed with Wi-Fi. Continents would be dotted with cell towers. Geosynchronous satellites would provide fast Internet connectivity to everyone, everywhere.

Just look at the grandiose intentions of the Bill Gates-backed company Teledesic in the 1990s: “On day one of service, Teledesic will offer broadband telecommunications access for businesses, schools and individuals everywhere on the planet.” Teledesic went out of business in 2002.

In recent years, reality has set in. We are nowhere near providing Internet connectivity everywhere. So now, companies are wisely starting to do the next best thing: Making their apps and services work offline.

Over the past month, the industry has flooded users with apps and services designed to work without an Internet connection.

Making the world safe for going offline

Google this week rolled out better offline support for its iOS and Android Google Maps apps. It enables you to choose an area and then tap a button to download the mapping data to your phone, saving it for later use. Then when you’re out on the road, you can look at the map without going online. So you don’t have to worry about getting lost if you’re in a mobile broadband dead zone.

The Android version of Google Search has a new offline mode for the Google Now feature as well. Even without a connection, the Google Now cards will keep on coming.

The company has also been working hard to make its cloud-centric laptop platform, the Chromebook, as functional offline as possible. Google publishes a page listing all the things you can do with a Chromebook without an Internet connection — things like using email, adding appointments to the calendar and so on. Any day now, Chromebooks will have the ability to download and play TV shows and movies offline.

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Publishers get creative with an à la carte approach to digital media

Digiday

The all-you-can-eat approach to digital media is going away in favor of à la carte.

Consider Facebook. It launched Facebook Messenger and Paper as standalone apps following its acquisition of Instagram. Foursquare also sees value in having a portfolio of services; it’s separating its original check-in service from its recommendation service. The new app will be called Swarm, while the recommendation service will use the Foursquare name.

Publishers, too, are doing it. The New York Times is planning to launch dedicated mobile apps focused on food and opinion, on the heels of offerings for both light and rabid users. Yahoo introduced a tech vertical and is planning digital “magazines” on single topics like food and fashion.

The Economist has had success with less intimidating and expensive apps than its core magazine. On the high end, it bundles print and digital in a single $130 annual subscription. It also has pricey à la carte options like its $18.99 Traveller Briefings. The title complements those with everything from the free lifestyle app Intelligent Life to the Anthology Series, single-topic collections at $2.99 each, and the $3.99 Economist Radio: In Other Words. Launched a couple of weeks ago, In Other Words had some 11,000 downloads in its first few days, said Susan Clark, chief marketing officer at The Economist. That’s hardly something to live off of, but every little bit helps.

“You’re going to get people who want to buy small bits and bites and others who want the bundle,” Clark said. “If you can get people to come in, especially at a lower price point, and get them to get a feel for the brand, over time, one would hope we could trade them up. Every one of these apps broadens the market.”

With digital ad rates declining, even the more successful publishers need to find new ways to bring in revenue to their websites, said Rick Edmonds, media business analyst at Poynter. Verticals can supplement their core offering. “It’s also that there are some universes of people who are looking for more specialized apps and are less likely to go through the New York Times or the others and pick out what they most want,” he said.

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Teens drift away from ‘traditional’ social networks

The Telegraph

Teenagers are moving away from ‘traditional’ social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in favour of mobile messaging apps like WhatsApp and WeChat.

According to the latest GlobalWebIndex report, the percentage of teens active on Facebook dropped by 9 per cent during 2013. Falls were also recorded for YouTube (7 per cent), Twitter (3 per cent) and Google+ (4 per cent).

This does not mean that mainstream social networks are dead and buried – Facebook is still the leading app for teenagers, and by the end of 2013, 66 per cent of teens were members of the site.

However, Jason Mander, head of trends at GlobalWebIndex, said that teenagers are using these networks less actively, and for fewer things.

At the same time, the report, based on interviews with 170,000 users in 32 counties, detected a rise in newer social networks like Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr, along with mobile messaging services.

“If we look at usage of apps over the last six months, it’s very clear that the biggest growers are things like Snapchat, WhatsApp, WeChat, Kik Messenger,” said Mander.

“There seems to be a shift from what we would call classic social networking behaviours to more instant communication in the form of messaging apps.”

Snapchat is the fastest growing social media app among teens, with this demographic more than twice as likely as others to be using it. Snapchat usage increased 60 per cent between Q3 and Q4 2013, according to the report.

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Battle is on for mobile gatekeepers

Warc

The mobile home screen is emerging as the new battleground for app makers, with marketers keen to access the user data that such “launcher” apps can capture.

The Financial Times reported research from Flurry showing a tenfold increase in the use of these apps during the past year. And while the total numbers remained relatively small, chief executive Simon Khalaf maintained the speed of the apps’ adoption meant they could not be ignored.

“The battle for the mobile home screen has begun,” he declared.

Flurry estimates suggest there are already some 30m US users of home-screen apps, which effectively add another user interface on top of the manufacturer’s default and allow consumers to personalise their device to far greater degree.

For example, existing apps might be organised into folders, such as ‘news’ or ‘social’, while more sophisticated options enable the phone to decide, based on time and place, what apps are displayed; so a different set could appear on the home screen when a user is in the office.

“We think phones can bring content to us without having to search for it,” explained Mark Daiss, co-founder of one such app maker, Aviate. “We feel the home screens should be getting the best content to you the moment it’s useful,” he added.

But consumers are required to grant a degree of access they may not be comfortable with. Aviate, for example, demands permission to read text messages and calendar events and to know the device’s location even when the GPS function is turned off.

There is clearly scope for marketers to use such information to target advertising and to build on the app-install advertising already offered by Facebook, Twitter and now Google.

This week Google announced it would let app developers target its mobile customers based on the apps they had already downloaded. Thus, someone using an app to measure how far they run, might see an ad for an app helping to track their diet.

It is also integrating this service with AdWords so that businesses can buy advertisements that, when clicked, will redirect users directly inside their already-downloaded and installed mobile apps.

The stakes are potentially high — as much as 60% of Facebook’s mobile ad revenues are thought to come from app-install ads.

The rise of mobile apps and the decline of the open web — a threat or an over-reaction?

Gigaom

As the use of mobile devices continues to climb, the use of dedicated apps is also increasing — but is this a natural evolution, or should we be worried about apps winning and the open web losing? Chris Dixon, a partner with venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, argues in a recent blog post that we should be concerned, because it is creating a future in which the web becomes a “niche product,” and the dominant environment is one of proprietary walled gardens run by a couple of web giants — and that this is bad for innovation.

Dixon’s evidence consists in part of two recent charts: one is from the web analytics company comScore, and shows that mobile usage has overtaken desktop usage — an event that occurred in January of this year. The second chart is from Flurry, which tracks app usage, and it shows that apps account for the vast majority of time spent vs. the mobile web, an amount that Flurry says is still growing. I’ve combined the two charts into one (somewhat ugly) graphic below:

If apps are winning, is the web losing?

The implication of all this is obvious, says Dixon. Mobile is the future, and what wins on mobile will win the internet — and “right now, apps are winning and the web is losing.” Not only that, but Dixon argues that the problem is likely to get worse, as more companies realize that an app gives them much more control over the user experience than a website. And with less and less investment in making the web experience better on mobile, it will continue to deteriorate, which in turn will push users even further towards the use of apps.

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Breaking News Is the Top Reason for Mobile News App Usage

eMarketer

Less than one-third of consumers pay for a smartphone or tablet news app

Less than four in 10 US consumers use mobile news apps, but those who do are likely keeping them on hand to stay up to date with unexpected events.

In a December 2013 study by StepLeader, 42% of US mobile news app users said that breaking news was the most important news app category. This was the top response by a long shot—just 18% of respondents cited second-place national news—and it makes sense when one considers that mobile devices allow users to keep up with the latest news whenever and wherever they go.

But getting breaking news via smartphone apps was far more popular than on tablets, likely due to the former being more portable. More than four in 10 respondents said they used smartphone apps to get breaking news alerts, compared with just 20.0% who said the same for tablets. Instead, the larger screens were more common for reading news content—likely in a more relaxed setting—with more than half of tablet news app users saying they did so, vs. less than one-third of smartphone users.

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