News scan: IT pros get ready for wearables; Surface Pro 2 gets battery boost; more


>> IT pros, get ready for Google Glass, smartwatches

Just when IT pros thought they had got control over all of the smartphones and tablets flooding into the enterprises, here comes Google Glass and smartwatches from Samsung and Apple. Fear not. Here are five ways to get ready for wearable devices coming into the enterprise, according to Robert Mullins with Network World: Talk to your mobile device management vendor about whether they can accommodate a wearable device; Explore a mobile application management product, which focus on controlling the applications and data rather than the device; Address both sides of security worries, that is, employee privacy as well as corporate security; Trust but verify, that is, make sure you have written policies that can be verified about use of wearable cameras and look for opportunities to use wearable devices to improve employee productivity. Read more on the five ways (reg. req.).

[More on wearables: Let's get flexible--wearable devices to fuel demand for flexible displays | Broadcom eyes big role in wearable technology]

>> Surface Pro 2's battery life beefed up through firmware

A recent firmware update from Microsoft has extended the battery life of the Surface Pro 2 by 25 percent, according to tests conducted by AnandTech. This is good news for mobile workers who use the tablet on the road. "Shortly after general availability of the Surface Pro 2, Microsoft pushed out a firmware update that allowed the Marvell Wi-Fi solution to drive down to even lower power states. I spoke with Microsoft after the update went live and immediately re-ran both of our battery life benchmarks on the Surface Pro 2. The improvement is significant," explains Anand Lal Shimpi in a blog. The updated Surface Pro 2 is still way behind the NVIDIA Shield and Google Nexus 7 (2013) in terms of web browsing battery life. Read more on AnandTech's battery life tests.

[More on Surface tablets: Microsoft's Surface deception? | Microsoft tries to woo enterprises with Surface 2 tablets]

>> iPass adds Windows Phone 8 to its mobile app client for Wi-Fi access

Wi-Fi provider iPass has added Windows Phone 8 to its iPass Open Mobile client, which enables mobile workers to access the iPass Wi-Fi network and IT pros to manage distributed and disparate mobile devices. iPass now enables Wi-Fi connectivity for users of Windows Phone 8, along with Android and iOS devices. The Windows Phone 8 app is available as a download from the Windows Store. The iPass Wi-Fi network has more than 1.4 million hotspots, including in-flight Internet, hotels, airports and business venues around the world. Read more about iPass for Windows Phone 8.

[More on iPass: Business travelers basing hotel, airline choices on Wi-Fi, says survey | Poor Wi-Fi coverage lowering mobile worker productivity, iPass survey finds]

>> Latin America lags behind other regions in mobile commerce

A full 58 percent of mobile phone users in Latin America have not used their device to make a purchase, but would like to do so, according to SAP research cited by eMarketer. That is the largest percentage of any region. In the U.S., by contrast, 59 percent of mobile phone users have made a purchase using their devices, while only 38 percent have not made a mobile purchase but would like to do so. Three percent of U.S. mobile phone users have not made a mobile purchase and have no desire to do so. Read more on the mobile commerce study.

[More on mobile commerce: Strategy Analytics slashes forecast for NFC-based mobile payments | Fandango, Samsung team on mobile movie ticketing]

>> Smaller US government agencies moving ahead with BYOD

While larger U.S. government agencies are reluctant to throw their doors open to BYOD, a number of smaller agencies have taken the BYOD plunge, reports the Federal Times. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Merit Systems Protection Board have both significantly expanded their BYOD programs over the last year, allowing employees to access a wider range of agency systems with their personal devices. MSPB is offering a stipend to employees to encourage them to use their own phones. "Everyone was talking about it, but no one had actually done it. It comes down to making a business case," comments Tommy Hwang, chief information officer at MSPB. Read more on the agencies' BYOD programs.

[More on BYOD: Mobile device access to enterprise data fuels demand for VDI | BYOD fueling $2B cloud-based security services market, says Gartner]