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iPhone to gain better Exchange, Lotus Notes support at SDK event

post #1 of 36
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Following months of beta testing, Apple Inc. next week will address one of the key weakness of its iPhone handset by introducing improved support for enterprise level e-mail platforms from Microsoft and IBM, according to one Wall Street analyst.

In a note to investors on Thursday, American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu cited "industry and developer sources" who say the Cupertino-based firm will use a portion of its media presentation next Thursday to announce improvements to the touch-screen handset's ability to work with Microsoft's Exchange server and IBM's Lotus Notes software.

"If true (which we believe is), this will prove key in having more enterprises and SMB adopt iPhone as their mobile platform," the analyst wrote. "What isn't as clear to us is how Apple will accomplish this, whether this is from internal development (most likely), third-parties including Microsoft (next likely) with its ActiveSync technology, or Research in Motion Blackberry Connect (possible but less likely), or a combination of two or more."

The iPhone's limited support of enterprise-level email solutions has been the subject of much criticism from business mobile phone users, as they must manually "pull" email messages from their corporate mail networks onto the handset. By contrast, Research in Motion's Blackberry smartphones are capable of automatically "pushing" the contents of a user's corporate email account to their embedded email applications. As such, the iPhone has struggled to wiggle its way into the workplace.

"We do not think it will be easy to replicate the robustness of Blackberry push e-mail, but nonetheless, we view improvements as positive," Wu added in his note to clients. "Other enhancements we are picking up including improved security, better support of VPNs, and enterprise applications such as CRM."

While details surrounding Apple's plans for improved Exchange support are limited, several bits of information have recently surfaced on IBM's intent to support its Lotus email and calendar applications on the iPhone.

Specifically, it's said that IBM will offer its Lotus Notes e-mail package for both the iPhone and iPod touch. The software will reportedly be free for users who already have a Lotus Web-access license and start at $39 per year for new users.

In addition, IBM also plans to release Lotus Notes and its free Lotus Symphony "productivity" package -- which includes documents, spreadsheets and other Microsoft Office-like software -- for Apple's Mac computer line.
post #2 of 36
Well, corporations will love this. Still, the problem of being able to remotely disable a lost or stolen iPhone has not been addressed. Will it ever?

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post #3 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Well, corporations will love this. Still, the problem of being able to remotely disable a lost or stolen iPhone has not been addressed. Will it ever?

Of course it will - they have to spur sales - and once corporate accounts support (think subsidize equipment cost) iphones broadly - sales will rise significantly...
post #4 of 36
Any Exchange support will help sell iPhones. Without the ability to remotely disable a lost or stolen phone, many corporations wouldn't adopt iPhone as their mobile platform of choice. (This problem is not, however, insurmountable, and the SDK might make it possible to address it.) HOWEVER, individuals who work for corporations and are still on the hook for paying for their own phone now have another compelling reason to buy an iPhone.
post #5 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by aduzik View Post

Any Exchange support will help sell iPhones.

Would this apply to the iTouch as well ? I live in an iPhone free zone, dont want an unlocked one and would consider an iTouch (yeah iPod Touch - too longaword though)
post #6 of 36
cmon apple, where is my universal IM? i need an IM that works on iphone without worrying about bricking the phone!!!
post #7 of 36
Here in the UK, you can remotely disable any stolen phone by reporting it's IMEI to the provider. It's then disabled on every network. Surely you can do the same in the US?
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by eAi View Post

Here in the UK, you can remotely disable any stolen phone by reporting it's IMEI to the provider. It's then disabled on every network. Surely you can do the same in the US?

So that prevents the phone from making or receiving calls. Will it also erase all user data from the phone?
post #9 of 36
Just give me a "delete all messages" button for mail app.
post #10 of 36
In addition to email, there is also the issue of Exchange calendars, contacts, notes and tasks. Business users want live access to this information on the iPhone, rather than syncing after the fact. Anyone who has tried using Outlook Web Access on a 3 inch screen knows that OWA is not an acceptable substitute for true mobile support.

And what about the iTunes activation requirement? Are corporations going to be responsible for creating iTunes accounts and providing credit card numbers for each of their iPhone users? Are corporations who routinely lock down end user PC's now going to start putting iTunes on all their PC's?
post #11 of 36
Here's to hoping they include 802.1X WiFi support as well.
post #12 of 36
Not sure if this is a new development or not, but there is an "Exchange" option if you set up a new email account on the iPhone and choose "other" when you do. You're then given an option to set up an exchange account. Is that new?
post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...Microsoft (next likely) with its ActiveSync technology..."

Microsoft and technology should never be in the same sentence. Xerography is more appropriate.
post #14 of 36
Nobody needs push email. I challenge anyone to provide an example of why they need an email message instantly rather than waiting for the mail client to check, for example, every minute or 30 seconds.

If you need instant communication, SMS or chat are better suited to that task.
post #15 of 36
I don't care about "push email". What I need are over-the-air syncing of Exchange contacts and calendars. That's the only Microsoft technology I miss from my old Samsung Blackjack.
post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

So that prevents the phone from making or receiving calls. Will it also erase all user data from the phone?

It deactivates the phone completely, you can't even use the iPod. As far as I know you then need to restore the phone to unlock it, which means deleting everything from the phone in the process.

As for 802.1X, do you mean 802.11n? 802.11x is a generic term for all 802.11 standards, which the iPhone already has 802.11g. I've never come across 802.1X before.
post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by redfitz View Post

Not sure if this is a new development or not, but there is an "Exchange" option if you set up a new email account on the iPhone and choose "other" when you do. You're then given an option to set up an exchange account. Is that new?

That's not true Exchange support. It's just Exchange pushed through IMAP.
post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

Anyone who has tried using Outlook Web Access on a 3 inch screen knows that OWA is not an acceptable substitute for true mobile support.

Agreed. You may wish to google "OWA for PDA". It's a good temporary solution.
post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdasmith View Post

It deactivates the phone completely, you can't even use the iPod. As far as I know you then need to restore the phone to unlock it, which means deleting everything from the phone in the process.

As for 802.1X, do you mean 802.11n? 802.11x is a generic term for all 802.11 standards, which the iPhone already has 802.11g. I've never come across 802.1X before.

I think he means 802.1x as in the authentication that some networks. A lot of colleges (including mine) have this standard and so I can't access wifi.
post #20 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

Nobody needs push email. I challenge anyone to provide an example of why they need an email message instantly rather than waiting for the mail client to check, for example, every minute or 30 seconds.

If you need instant communication, SMS or chat are better suited to that task.

1. my iphone only lets me set mail to check my email once ever 15, 30, or 60 minutes. or manually.

2. push isn't the same as "checking your mail every 30 seconds" which is why it does eat your battery the same way checking your email every thirty seconds would
post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by onceuponamac View Post

Of course it will - they have to spur sales - and once corporate accounts support (think subsidize equipment cost) iphones broadly - sales will rise significantly...

Of course, many of the larger corporations will not even consider iPhone because it has a camera built in (security issues).

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post #22 of 36
Nice to hear that yet another productivity suite is coming to the Mac. I know it's been announced before but perhaps with this event, we'll get a confirmed date. I've never tried Symphony on the PC so I have no idea how well it is designed and developed. But again, another Office-like option (especially ODF based) for the Mac helps further alleviate the Microsoft pressure on the platform.

/
post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdasmith View Post

It deactivates the phone completely, you can't even use the iPod. As far as I know you then need to restore the phone to unlock it, which means deleting everything from the phone in the process. .

The functionality is already there, in terms of erasing all settings and contents. (General -> Reset -> Erase All Content and Settings) They just need to be able to do this remotely and brick the phone from making calls. I actually use this when I picked up my AppleCare phone at FedEx. Erased my old one swapped SIMs and walked back into FedEx.
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post #24 of 36
I guess we know why the SDK took it's time then, Apple was busy with all this exchange stuff to finish the SDK
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post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

In addition to email, there is also the issue of Exchange calendars, contacts, notes and tasks. Business users want live access to this information on the iPhone, rather than syncing after the fact. Anyone who has tried using Outlook Web Access on a 3 inch screen knows that OWA is not an acceptable substitute for true mobile support.

There's no telling yet whether Apple will be adding Exchange support (for free) to the current iPhone/iPod touch apps, or whether they'll be partnering with Microsoft on a (fee-based) mobile Outlook app with its own mailboxes, calendars, contacts, etc.
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post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by andreslucero View Post

There's no telling yet whether Apple will be adding Exchange support (for free) to the current iPhone/iPod touch apps, or whether they'll be partnering with Microsoft on a (fee-based) mobile Outlook app with its own mailboxes, calendars, contacts, etc.

If I were Apple, I would work closely with a 3rd-party to create the application. They would be the ones who would get the license from MS and they would be the ones getting paid for each one sold via the iTS. Apple would also get a cut for its involvement in the project. I wouldn't have Apple create it or let MS build it, either. I would plan to eventually usurp MS' proprietary hold on the Mail servers with a cheaper, open source option.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hdasmith View Post

As for 802.1X, do you mean 802.11n? 802.11x is a generic term for all 802.11 standards, which the iPhone already has 802.11g. I've never come across 802.1X before.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/802.1x
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post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmber View Post

2. push isn't the same as "checking your mail every 30 seconds" which is why it does eat your battery the same way checking your email every thirty seconds would

IMAP IDLE - keeps the GPRS stack alive and server resources low. Works a treat on a Nokia E50 and does not hog too much battery either. Next best thing to push mail as i can disable/disconnect when I see fit.
post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcassara View Post

I don't care about "push email". What I need are over-the-air syncing of Exchange contacts and calendars. That's the only Microsoft technology I miss from my old Samsung Blackjack.

Is Exchange calendaring/scheduling actually an open standard?

I didn't think so.

If you're expecting MS Exchange you'd better go by a Windows CE client.
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by freelander51 View Post

IMAP IDLE - keeps the GPRS stack alive and server resources low. Works a treat on a Nokia E50 and does not hog too much battery either. Next best thing to push mail as i can disable/disconnect when I see fit.

ya...that's what i've got going on.
post #30 of 36
So I have a small company and we've been an all mac shop saddled to various versions of MS Exchange from OS 9 to Leopard over close to 10 years. I can see that remote access for security of pda devices for wiping is important, but could be potentially facilitated with some sort of VNC type of approach.

I don't mean to be too naive about email, but push has always seemed less than crucial, if you can manually check quickly and easily. In every execution its a battery killer. Frankly it is very easy to get email, and IMAP does pretty much exactly what exchange email does- folder matching with read and delete syncing with a server.

What has forced us into Exchange all these years is wireless syncing of contacts, tasks and most importantly group scheduling.

In my opinion it is these features that keeps companies bound to Exchange, and Apple has really never delivered in these areas. I ve always felt that the "i" in front of iCal is great for an individual, but there really is no great workgroup support until recently, (Leopard Server, CalDEV). Even now, apple Mail is not very reliable with Exchange.

The reality is for workgroup corporate services Exchange is the dominant platform. It is surprisingly very good at what it does with literally eons of coding by many hands, but has always been riddled with overly proprietary definitions of so-un-open source bugginess that it has created a massive expert niche consultant extortion underground of specialists needed to keep Exchange servers from imploding and corrupting all data on a biannual basis.

All that being said, it is incredibly convenient to carry around your smartphone and have a constantly updating group schedule in your pocket, make changes to it, create contacts anywhere you are, and it all syncs to your desktop and server without ever attaching a sync cable.

It seems almost crazy that to have a current schedule and contacts on an iphone (which I love and have) you have to get back to that one particular desktop, hook up your cable and sync to iTunes!

I mean iTunes makes incredible sense for media-(music, movies) cause media is BIG. but contacts, email and schedules are miniscule in comparison, so why the super-coolest uber device of the century is still not just wirelessly syncing is amazing-

It is these very features that put Blackberry's on the map almost instantly after 911.

Alright- I never post here, I usually lurk around- and this turned into an article- but, BOY- DO I FEEL better!!

Comments? Corrections? Thanks everybody!
post #31 of 36
push is not the same as manually checking every 30 seconds. push .... wait for it ... PUSHES new email TO your phone. it doesn't eat battery for that very reason. that's why push is different from just setting your phone to check for new mail every second.

i understand your point about wireless syncing, but it seems like people in this thread don't get what push email is. it's not life or death, but it's not what you guys have been describing it as.
post #32 of 36
I do realize that that PUSH means your mail hits your mobile at the same time as your desktop, without user initiation. I guess my point is that it's sti;; using up battery like a sync everytime. Maybe this is not intended in theory, but in all practicality on several Windows Mobile PIM PDA/phones we have applied this way, it definately juices your power.

The difference between this and the wireless sync of other services, is that whether it's 100% Exchange Mail implementation, IMAP, or even, god forbid, POP mail, when you hit your "get mail" button, within moments, wherever you are,- you get your mail. So at the end of the day, the core email convenience is there at your command. Just because push is a known concept, doesn't really make it a hugely more productive and efficient method. I mean- it's marginal at best. If the email you are waiting for is so time sensitive that you need the server to PUSH it to you, which means the user is still constantly checking their mailbox, hitting their Sync button MANUALLY, at their discresion, will most likely get them in touch with that mail in PLENTY of time. Email is essentially is fully functional wirelessly, and even with HTML, etc-.

To me since this is true, you can get your email with or without Exchange in most cases, heck you could even go so "analog" as to just FORWARD copies from your Exchange account to gmail or anything else and STILL be getting your mail full functrion wirelessly.

On the other hand, Contacts, Tasks, and the all important "groupware" Scheduling (one of the most dynamicly changing components in our workflow) we have to use iTunes and a wire at a specific desktopto sync.

It's a definate chink in the iphones corporate armor, and one that (gasp) ugly, clunky, Windows (yikes!- blehhhhh!) Mobile actually does seemlessly (groan- I which it were not so- I've wanted to ditch Exchange for years).

With all this said, I still love my iphone, and have just lived with the the shortfall because the iphone is so cool. But I am really expecting that when it comes to exchange, THIS is the hole to be filled.

Only "media" should sync in iTunes, and all PIM data, schedules etc should sync wirelessly.

Man- I guess this IS my issue, hunh- I mean I am just BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.

But believe me, when this works the corps should fall in line in droves.

Correction? Comments? Schoolin"?

Thanks- Folks
post #33 of 36
you still don't get push. it's exactly like the name implies: PUSH. there's no "syncing" or "checking." when you get a new email, it's pushed to your phone. pretend you're asleep and the phone rings in another room and your wife answers it then wakes you up so you can take the call. if there's no call you don't wake up to check if there are any calls.

you say that push means the user is still constantly checking their mailbox, but that is not true. that is not what push is. it's analogous to an SMS in a way. there is no checking to see if you have new SMS, when you have one you are alerted to the fact that you have one. the only work is done on the server side. that's why it doesn't use up battery in the way you're describing. what you've seen must be a placebo effect or something, because the "everytime" that you reference is only when you get mail. again, there is no sync. it uses up the same battery power as it would to download the email if you manually checked your phone. you use up more battery checking for email and having none than you do with push, because ................ it doesn't "check" your email if you don't have any.

as far as wireless syncing goes, it's last on my list of things i want on my phone. it's really not even on the list. i couldn't care less about it. for you, it's important. that's cool. but i have need for it.
post #34 of 36
Actually, all of the versions of "push" mail out there are note really pushing the email, but are rather pushing an out-of-band message to the end device to get it to initiate a full connection to the server to do the sync. Blackberry uses a message sent through a channel similar to the paging system. The point of this is that the device can close the very power-hungry TCP/IP channel and just keep the much more miserly side-band receiver powered up.

Since Apple has to work with relatively few carriers it could implement its own version of this out-of-band notification, but then servers would have to implement this system and tie in with the carriers, basically Apple would have to do the same things as Blackberry has done. And there is a good chance that there are some patents in the way.
post #35 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmber View Post

you still don't get push. it's exactly like the name implies: PUSH. there's no "syncing" or "checking." when you get a new email, it's pushed to your phone. pretend you're asleep and the phone rings in another room and your wife answers it then wakes you up so you can take the call. if there's no call you don't wake up to check if there are any calls.

you say that push means the user is still constantly checking their mailbox, but that is not true. that is not what push is. it's analogous to an SMS in a way. there is no checking to see if you have new SMS, when you have one you are alerted to the fact that you have one. the only work is done on the server side. that's why it doesn't use up battery in the way you're describing. what you've seen must be a placebo effect or something, because the "everytime" that you reference is only when you get mail. again, there is no sync. it uses up the same battery power as it would to download the email if you manually checked your phone. you use up more battery checking for email and having none than you do with push, because ................ it doesn't "check" your email if you don't have any.

as far as wireless syncing goes, it's last on my list of things i want on my phone. it's really not even on the list. i couldn't care less about it. for you, it's important. that's cool. but i have need for it.

I realize now that I miss-typed my earlier message. Much like you probably did in the last sentence of your message.

I own an Exchange server, I know what PUSH mail is. I don't check my mail more than once or twice an hour, and usually I know about crucial ones when they are coming and anticipate that. Very seldom do I check y mail and there is no mail.

The next poster is correct about most PUSH methods which initialize the device to make contact and still use local resources.

The case I wish to make is that for the most part, checking your email manually, at your convenience, is really only marginally less convenient then PUSH anyway. It is really splitting hairs. Email, in todays world, is essentially handled. Just abut any mobile device now a days allows you multiple email accounts from multiple providers. It's pretty hard to not get, or miss an email, and of course, wireless just goes without saying.

But putting contacts or apointments into my phone and having them show up on my server, or adding meetings scheduled by others while in the field, or traveling on business for a week without syncing to a laptop or desktop is significant. It's the difference of whether I have to drag a laptop around or not. It's not like I can go into a business center or "internet cafe" with my iphone cable and get my schedule in sync. I love the iphone. I'm never going back, but with windows mobile and active sync, I could go on a two week trip without the laptop and always know where and when my next appointment or call was scheduled.

A tiny bit of Exchange support, like even a 3rd party app or a licensed version of active sync on the iphone and I am in PDA/mobile/iphone/corporate real world use/ heaven, that's all.

I have to think I'm not alone- the bottom line is email is easy any way you spin it, and no one but Microsoft (love/hate/monopoly) does integrated worgroup solutions like Exchange. It is statistically and factually the only game in town, and it aint about email. The lack of this integration has to be the number one deal breaker for 90 percent of large corporations, and that is a massive bit of business that the iphone is currently not prepared for.
post #36 of 36
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