Last year I was excited to blog about the Apple and Cisco partnership. It was amazing to see the opportunities being created for developers with iOS 10. A lot has happened since then, and the opportunities for developers just keep getting better!
Now we are happy to announce DevNet Fast lane validation for iOS developers. Let me tell you more about this…
As a result of the partnership, enterprises are now able to provide higher quality Wi-Fi connections, and give priority to business critical apps within their network environment. This gives businesses a technical advantage of great importance, as mobile apps have become the primary vehicle for reinventing entire workflows that transform businesses.
When deploying new services, enterprises want to make sure that the applications critical to the productivity of their employees or customers get priority treatment.
I have a daily example that’s close to home. My two year old daughter hates getting the “poor connection” message when talking to grandma and grandpa. (That’s her “business critical.”) You can easily imagine how poor Wi-Fi connection or poor performance on the enterprise network can get in the way of business in industries like healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, or retail. For example, when a shopping mall or amusement park wants to offer an AR/VR experience for their customers, the business owner can prioritize that mobile app in their business network by using the iOS 10 SDK to tag your app and its data as business critical for QoS.
We all know that not all apps have the same importance to a business, and that latency sensitive services like voice and video greatly benefit from a little VIP treatment on a network. Often however, the hard part is creating a full enterprise environment with the right infrastructure to automatically ensure that the right apps are operating most efficiently, and the iOS device is being prioritized on the network. This priority gives preference to apps that are necessary to get important work done. Think of it as giving high priority apps a ‘Fast lane’ on the network.
To assess apps in a real enterprise environment, a number of healthcare applications were tested in-house with actual business critical software running on iOS devices on a Fast lane capable network. Ensuring that all patient information flows over the air to the caregivers and providers can be critical in a hospital environment and also dependant on the network infrastructure. The results showed significant improvement in audio and video quality as well as optimized roaming between access points, which are all business critical critical in a healthcare setup.
Observing such results sets an important prerequisite for iOS app developers who design and build these business apps. So in DevNet we have expanded our work with third party iOS app developers to support them in validating that their mobile apps are accurately tagged for QoS, so they can be optimized for Wi-Fi, and prioritized for Cisco Wi-Fi networks. We call it the “Fast Lane Validation Program”.
Cisco DevNet now offers a service especially for iOS app developers to verify their iOS app functionality on a Cisco infrastructure without having to spend thousands of dollars on a test bed. DevNet provides a Cisco enterprise and cloud-managed Cisco Meraki infrastructure test beds for testing QoS tagging of their apps. With the latest announcements from Apple earlier today, DevNet is working to expand the validation processes to include iOS 11 and macOS as part of the test bed. Interested developers can now learn hands-on on how Fast lane improves app performance and communicate directly with the Cisco DevNet team via our website.
Another opportunity that exists for iOS app developers is the recent availability of the Cisco Spark SDK for iOS. This developer kit makes it easy to embed Cisco Spark capabilities into apps for iPhone and iPad. What that means is, we give you amazing audio and video capabilities, and you add them into your existing app workflow and or user interface. No need for users to switch apps or disrupt their flow. A person ordering an item through an app can reach customer service directly from their ordering screen during a purchase without ever leaving their app.
And if the application has been using the correct QoS tags to be optimized for business, your video calls inside your apps will get priority on your Cisco Wi-Fi network.
The capabilities of the SDK enable unlimited customization and applicability for your industry, especially financial services, healthcare, sales and marketing, task management, retail, and even remote tech support or mobile service-worker use cases.
Find more, including Getting Started guides for each of the widgets and SDKs, on the Cisco Spark SDKs and Widgets page. It’s fast and easy with a few lines of code. Get hands on experience with Cisco Spark integration with DevNet.
I would like to invite all app developers working on enterprise apps to reach out to us at Cisco DevNet. We can help you get your iOS apps validated and marketed to the enterprise audience. Reaching us is easy…go to https://developer.cisco.com/site/apple and click the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page.
Just last month, DevNet sponsored its first-ever developers conference – DevNet Create. For the event, Apple and Cisco partnered to create iOS mini-hacks around QoS tagging and Spark integration. It was a fantastic way for the developers to get hands-on experience with the technologies in a venue with Cisco experts right there to support them. The response from developers was so positive we’ve committed to bring the mini hacks to the DevNet Zone at Cisco Live Las Vegas later this month. I hope to see you there!
Watch for more enhancements to be introduced over the next few months that further enrich experiences for our users and developers working with Apple products used in the enterprise domain. Rowan highlights several upcoming enhancements for our customers within this partnership in his blog, make sure to check it out here.
Let DevNet help you make your apps Fast lane enabled.
Look forward to working with you!
Susie Wee @susiewee
VP and CTO of DevNet