Arraya Insights | March 27, 2018
Even though Android is the top dog in the mobile device market these days, Apple devices factor heavily into most organizations’ BYOD programs. IT teams who support a core of Apple fans will want to keep June 2018 on their radars because, once it arrives, so too will a major change to how Cisco Jabber functions on iOS devices. Unless steps are taken by IT to adjust accordingly, BYOD iOS users will be left in the dark in terms of incoming calls and instant messages.
Previously, Jabber would regularly connect to the Cisco Unified Communication Manager or IM and Presence (IM&P) server using a socket connection & keep alive method to relay messages and calls to an iOS device. This put a strain on device compute power and so, in an effort to optimize the performance of its phones and tablets, Apple set a ticking clock on this type of connection, one that’s finally set to run out this summer.
Apple actually laid the foundation for this change way back in September 2016 with its iOS 10 release. This version of its mobile operating system dumped the APIs needed to alert users to calls and Instant Messages coming across Cisco Jabber when the application was running in the background. Without this functionality in place, users were at a high risk of missing an important incoming call or message – unless they kept Jabber running front and center on their Apple device. The final phase of this evolution was rolled out last September as part of Apple’s iOS 11 update – although, as mentioned it won’t fully go into effect until this June. This release will sunset the last two infrastructure pieces that supported Jabber’s legacy approach to mobile connectivity, namely:
- SetKeepAliveTimeout:handler – Jabber leverages this UI application to refresh its connection to UC servers and WebEx, keeping the lines of communication open between a mobile device and an organization’s internal collaboration stack.
- VoIP Sockets – Any time Jabber is transferred to the background on an iOS device, the system monitors this socket in search of incoming communications.
In place of the legacy, socket-based approach, Apple is mandating a move to a cloud-to-cloud connection model. This new architecture sees a call notification travel from the Cisco cloud to Apple’s cloud, more specifically to its Apple Push Notification (APN) service. From there, a call or message alert is then routed to the device itself. It’s a more efficient method that won’t overly tax endpoints. In response to Apple’s decision, Cisco announced it would introduce support for APN to its Jabber service.
Next steps: Keep your Apple fans connected
So, what does this mean for organizations whose BYOD strategies include users leveraging Jabber on iOS devices? Without appropriate action from communication admins prior that June cutoff date, users will be unable to continue using Jabber from their Apple devices. Admins will need to update and reconfigure their organization’s Cisco UC Manager and IM&P services. Additionally, they’ll need to ensure their Expressway, Jabber, and iOS platforms have all been upgraded to a more modern version capable of supporting Apple Push Notifications.
Need help assessing and ensuring your IT environment’s readiness for this update? Arraya’s Collaboration team has decades of hands on experience, supporting the tools and technologies that have brought workers – regardless of physical location – together. By partnering with Arraya, you can rest easier knowing your communication environment is primed for what comes next.
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