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Apple partners with Salesforce to increase iOS integration in business

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Apple is working with Salesforce to improve how the customer relationship management platform works on iOS, including new features for the main Salesforce app and the introduction of tools for developers to build native iOS apps that use Salesforce's service.

Under the partnership, Salesforce will redesign its Salesforce Mobile app to provide customers "rich experiences on iOS" that take advantage of the operating system's unique features, including Siri ShortCuts, Face ID, and Business Chat, with the release expected in early 2019. As part of the app push, Salesforce will also introduce its first ever Trailhead mobile app for the company's learning platform later next year, with other iOS apps also planed to serve the specific customer needs of various industries and small businesses.

To help developers, the companies are developing the first Salesforce Mobile SDK, which will be optimized for the Swift programming language, intended to launch by the end of 2018. The native SDK is intended to enable businesses to build and deploy apps for iPhone and iPad using the Salesforce Lightning Platform.

Lastly, to encourage developers to improve their skills and grow their careers, Apple will be launching a new Get Started with iOS App Development Trail, which aims to teach anyone how to build native iOS apps in Xcode with Swift.

"We're excited to work with Salesforce and that their industry-leading CRM will embrace native iOS and deliver exclusive new features on iPhone and iPad," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "With the powerful combination of iPhone, iPad and iOS — the best hardware and software for business — together with native Salesforce apps and the new Salesforce SDK, we can deliver great customer experiences for businesses around the world."

Apple works with a number of major enterprise companies to enable macOS and iOS devices in the workplace, and has done so for a number of years.

One major partner is IBM, which it has worked with to power IBM's Watson technology using Core ML on Apple's portable devices in 2018. In 2014, Apple and IBM embarked on the MobileFirst enterprise initiative, where Apple aids in software development while IBM handles hardware management and mobile integration, with Watson's technology also introduced to that service in 2016.

Apple also partnered with Deloitte in 2016, to promote Apple-based workflows in enterprise and rapid prototyping technologies to quickly develop solutions. Its 2018 partnership with CDW makes it easier for enterprise customers to deploy Macs and iOS devices to employees, and a 2017 partnership with Accenture involves integrating iOS with "internet of things" for clients and the further development of tools created by Apple partners Cisco and SAP.