Yesterday, Apple announced the iPhone 2.0 software platform, its next-generation software for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The software will include built-in direct support of Microsoft Exchange Server for email, contacts, calendaring, and access to global address lists (GAL).
Apple is also opening up the iPhone platform to developers with an iPhone software developers kit (SDK) that will, for the first time, allow developers to create native applications for iPhone and iPod Touch. Users will purchase software directly from the iPhone through the App Store, and iTunes-like application.
The iPhone 2.0 software and SDK are now in beta and will be released in June. The user software will be a free update for all iPhone owners and a paid upgrade for iPod Touch owners.
iPhone 2.0 as Enterprise Client
Apple is licensing Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and building it into the software it ships with the iPhone and iPod Touch. This could make the iPhone 2.0 platform a better Exchange Client than Mac OS X.
ActiveSync will give the devices direct and immediate access to Exchange Server. The iPhone/iPod Touch built-in mail program, contact manager, and calendar will be able to accept data "pushed" from Exchange Server. This means that email, contacts, and calendar items will update immediately and automatically from the Server without user intervention. Users will be able to accept meeting invitations and locate contacts in a directory or Exchange's GAL.
The support of ActiveSync also enables network administrators to remotely wipe the data from the iPhone and iPod Touch should the user lose the device. Administrators can also enforce password policies and remoted configure the devices.
Other built-in enterprise features include a Cisco IPSec virtual private network (VPN) client, WPA2 Wi Fi, and support of certificates and identities.
Apple also launched the iPhone Enterprise Beta Program to allow US-based corporate and university customers to test the pre-release software.
The iPhone 2.0 platform
With iPhone 2.0, the iPhone for the first time becomes a development platform. Previously, Apple had not released API's to developers, and required any iPhone applications to be web-based. With iPhone 2.0, Apple is releasing a software developers kit (SDK) to enable developers create native applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Apple is also launching an iPhone Developers Program similar to its Mac Developers Program
The SDK tools run only on a Mac with Mac OS X. The SDK will include XCode, the development environment used to create Mac OS X applications, as well as a user interface designer, a debugger/optimizer, and an iPhone simulator for Mac OS X.
Apple is courting game developers with built-in 3D animation support and access to the iPhone's 3-axis accelerometer. This enables game players to "steer" or control a game by moving the iPhone around rather than using a joystick.
Apple also announced that the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has created a $100 million venture capital fund called iFund, which will be used to invest in startups developing on the iPhone 2.0 platform for iPhone and iPod Touch.
HyperOffice connects iPhone to email, contacts, calendars
Friday, February 15, 2008
HyperOffice, Inc., has released a public beta of web-based collaboration service that connects the Apple iPhone to corporate email, contacts, calendars, tasks and notes. Using HyperShare, a gateway tool built into HyperOffice, iPhone users can use Outlook and share calendars, contacts, documents and tasks -- both with and without Microsoft Exchange.
The company said that HyperOffice operates as an alternative to Microsoft Exchange, syncing the iPhone email client with Microsoft Outlook.
HyperShare is a one-time download to the desktop. It automatically migrates Outlook contacts, calendars and delivers email to the email application built into the iPhone. The built-in email client of the iPhone doesn't support Exchange, but only supports IMAP, SMTP, and POP3 email protocols.
The public beta also includes a 30-day free trial of HyperOffice.