This week we have a grab bag of ExtraBITS for your reading pleasure, such as iOS 6 being approved for military use, an overview of announcements at the Google I/O developer conference, Bill Gates talking about the last days of Steve Jobs, Blackberry Messenger finally coming to iOS, and Matt Neuburg’s discussion of Apple’s future on the MacVoices.
iOS 6 Approved by the U.S. Department of Defense — The United States Department of Defense has approved the “security technical implementation guide” for mobile devices running iOS 6, including the iPhone and iPad, meaning that Apple’s handhelds can now be used on DOD networks. Also approved are BlackBerry smartphones and devices from Samsung running its Android-based Knox operating system. The DOD currently has around 600,000 commercial mobile devices in use, including 470,000 BlackBerrys, 41,000 unspecified Apple devices, and 8,700 Android devices. Most of these are part of a pilot program by the Defense Information Systems Agency to make use of the latest in technology. Unlike most enterprises, BYOD, or “bring your own device,” isn’t allowed, at least when it comes to connecting to DOD networks.
Rundown of Google I/O Announcements — Keeping up with Apple is hard enough, but when Google announces a boatload of products, updates, and services during a 3-hour keynote at the Google I/O developer conference, we’re happy to let others — The Next Web in this case — compile the list. Many of these announcements are relevant only to developers, but updates to Google Maps, the Google Play Music All Access streaming music service, new Google+ features, and a unified messaging service called Hangouts may be of interest to anyone using Google services.
Bill Gates Reminisces about Steve Jobs — In an interview with 60 Minutes, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates reflected on competing with Steve Jobs and visiting the Apple founder near the end of his life. Gates was uncharacteristically emotional, saying, “He and I, in a sense, grew up together.” Gates also shared a great story about Jobs bailing on a party due to illness, telling Gates’s secretary, “If he wants to know why, tell him I’m an a**hole.”
BlackBerry Messenger Coming to iOS — Beleaguered smartphone maker BlackBerry has announced that its Messenger service will come to iOS and Android this summer. The chat service, one of BlackBerry’s most loved features, is still used by 60 million people a month, generating 10 billion messages per day (that’s five times as many iMessages were sent per day as of January 2013). But with BlackBerry’s woes of the past few years, the release still feels like a rearguard action.
Telling Apple Where to Go (From Here) — In a discussion of where Apple needs to take iOS 7, WWDC, and the App Store, TidBITS Contributing Editor and iOS programming book author Matt Neuburg contributed his exhausting mix of detailed analysis and irrepressible ranting to Chuck Joiner’s MacVoices podcast, along with John Brayton of Golden Hill Software.