The iPhone Still Rules

iphone.jpgI’m sure many of you out there got iPhones over the Holidays, just like David did. Rich finally joined the iranks, but he went the iPod touch route, an interesting choice, all the cool features, minus the uncool AT&T and the molasses-in- January slow Edge network.

This blog has become an iPhone resource for Oracle people. I routinely get several emails each week about the internal wiki I started to collect Oracle-specific tips and tricks like how to connect to the corporate wireless network, or how to set up the mail app for our corporate email. That post continues to get traffic and ranks 11th among posts.

I’ve been thinking about a follow up since Forrester declared the iPhone unready for enterprise use. I don’t disagree with the claims that Forrester makes, but they only apply if you expect your iPhone to do all manner of business stuff OOTB. There are some interesting things going on here.

  • Early adopters of the iPhone have been largely willing to test out jailbreaks and hacks to extend the feature set of the device. The time between an Apple firmware update and the resulting hack to restore all the tweaks seems to get shorter with every iteration.
  • The cost of the devices target them more at working people, who are attracted to the portability of the device. These people want to check email and calendars everywhere because that’s what work has become.
  • People shelling out cash for a sweet device want it to do what they want; when it doesn’t, they’re likely to find ways to make it do that. So, modding the iPhone is a way to tell Apple to get with the third party apps already.
  • The iPhone is cool enough to get people to buy it even if it doesn’t do every last thing they want. The wiki we have is an example. Our corporate calendar doesn’t work natively with iCal on the iPhone, but someone figured out to make it work with SyncML.This requires a jailbreak, and the only reason I’ve waited is because firmware 1.1.3 is rumored to do some nasty things to jailbroken iPhones.

All this means that more people will use iPhones for work, simply because they can. I find myself doing email and tweeting pretty much every time I have a second of downtime. I hate waiting, so I fill those moments with the iPhone.

And it keeps getting easier as web sites launch iPhone versions; I’ve mentioned before that Twitter and Facebook have mobile/ iPhone versions. Google recently deployed a mobile/iPhone version of all its properties. Now, so does this blog. Rich installed the WordPress plugin to enable an iPhone version of the management tools. although I can’t imagine writing a post with the soft keyboard.

Plus, version 1.1.3 sets the stage for third party apps. You should check out this video (or this rundown) of its new features; some question its authenticity, but it looks real (and really cool) to me. Apple did promise a developer kit by February too.

All this demand will force better support. So, as with other disruptive technology, IT will be faced with new issues, which seems to be par for the course lately. I expect someone will take a lead in deploying business apps to iPhones in 2008, but I doubt it will be Apple or any of the usual enterprise software suspects.

Back to Rich and his iPod touch. Companies like Jajah have made VoIP a reality for iPhone/iPod touch, so now having AT&T or other carrier is a moot point. Sure, you still need wi-fi, but wi-fi is in a lot more places now, e.g. Avis rental cars, hospitals and coming soon to airplanes.

Update: Frederik from Jajah has informed me in comments that you don’t in fact need wi-fi, and Jajah works just fine over the Edge network. So, iPhone pwns iPod touch in that department.

My advice, get an iPhone already. It’s only going to get cooler.

Update: The subject of loads of online rumors, 1.1.3 is also said to have copy-paste included, but not all the other neat stuff shown in the Gear Live video.

AboutJake

a.k.a.:jkuramot

29 comments

  1. Pingback: Ray Zed Blog
  2. I can’t believe I held out so long (props go out to Mark Malone at Apple for pushing me over the edge). My iPod Touch has been awesome. Wifi is ubiquitous where I live. Just today, I spent the morning working at Whole Foods (where wifi is free and fast — speedtest.net reports 4mbps down/ 256kbps up… not bad for free as in beer). Had the laptop on doing coding, while the Touch kept me up to date with email, tweets, and IM.

    I’m discovering lots of cool GTD techniques too now that I have the Touch… I’ll blog about that soon.

  3. I can’t believe I held out so long (props go out to Mark Malone at Apple for pushing me over the edge). My iPod Touch has been awesome. Wifi is ubiquitous where I live. Just today, I spent the morning working at Whole Foods (where wifi is free and fast — speedtest.net reports 4mbps down/ 256kbps up… not bad for free as in beer). Had the laptop on doing coding, while the Touch kept me up to date with email, tweets, and IM.

    I’m discovering lots of cool GTD techniques too now that I have the Touch… I’ll blog about that soon.

  4. Dude, plz keep the wiki updated with your thoughts. I can’t wait for the semi-GPS feature of Google Maps plus directions. So awesome.

  5. Dude, plz keep the wiki updated with your thoughts. I can’t wait for the semi-GPS feature of Google Maps plus directions. So awesome.

  6. Dude, plz keep the wiki updated with your thoughts. I can’t wait for the semi-GPS feature of Google Maps plus directions. So awesome.

  7. I’d hold out for version 2 personally. Some things I would miss from my Treo 750 if I switched today:

    General “One handedness” — you can do almost everything with one hand on a Treo, not sure that would change with the current form-factor of the iPhone however which appears to need 2 hands for almost everything.

    3G – Wifi is great when free and available but not if you’re in the car (as the passenger of course), out walking around in a park etc.

    A2DP (for BT Stereo Headsets) — great while exercising, but bad for Apple silhouette marketing/branding which relies on those little white cords connecting your device to your ears.

    Streaming Audio (goes hand in hand with the above) — internet radio is great, get local stations from anywhere or pure internet radio for free

    3rd party apps (hopefully the SDK will take care of this), like Slingbox, TomTom, a SplashID equivalent for storing passwords etc.)

    Ability to cut and paste..

    there are others but those are probably the most important to me…and might be to others as well, once you get a taste of them it’s hard to give them up 🙂

  8. I’d hold out for version 2 personally. Some things I would miss from my Treo 750 if I switched today:

    General “One handedness” — you can do almost everything with one hand on a Treo, not sure that would change with the current form-factor of the iPhone however which appears to need 2 hands for almost everything.

    3G – Wifi is great when free and available but not if you’re in the car (as the passenger of course), out walking around in a park etc.

    A2DP (for BT Stereo Headsets) — great while exercising, but bad for Apple silhouette marketing/branding which relies on those little white cords connecting your device to your ears.

    Streaming Audio (goes hand in hand with the above) — internet radio is great, get local stations from anywhere or pure internet radio for free

    3rd party apps (hopefully the SDK will take care of this), like Slingbox, TomTom, a SplashID equivalent for storing passwords etc.)

    Ability to cut and paste..

    there are others but those are probably the most important to me…and might be to others as well, once you get a taste of them it’s hard to give them up 🙂

  9. I’ve been adding comments to this blog and reading comments on my blog while in the line at the Bakery in Oracle HQ, using our corporate Wi-Fi I had to break off to demo it some other people in the line too.

    This is what I have been waiting for since I saw my first WAP phone in 1999 in the UK and said – that’s not the internet.

  10. I’ve been adding comments to this blog and reading comments on my blog while in the line at the Bakery in Oracle HQ, using our corporate Wi-Fi I had to break off to demo it some other people in the line too.

    This is what I have been waiting for since I saw my first WAP phone in 1999 in the UK and said – that’s not the internet.

  11. I skipped over the whole Treo thing (see my older posts on my iPhone for history), but my wife didn’t. I was never impressed by her Treo, in fact the web piece looks so janky, I vowed to never use the mobile web.

    The iPhone changed all that for me with how it handles Interwebs. Plus, deploying web apps as apps (e.g. Google Maps) turns out to be a killer feature (sorry Johan, killer attitude) for mobile.

    Scotty’s coming from a different angle, and I’ve heard a fair amount of noise about feature/feature comparisons. Let’s face facts, Apple can’t get everything right, so there are bound to be gaps.

  12. I skipped over the whole Treo thing (see my older posts on my iPhone for history), but my wife didn’t. I was never impressed by her Treo, in fact the web piece looks so janky, I vowed to never use the mobile web.

    The iPhone changed all that for me with how it handles Interwebs. Plus, deploying web apps as apps (e.g. Google Maps) turns out to be a killer feature (sorry Johan, killer attitude) for mobile.

    Scotty’s coming from a different angle, and I’ve heard a fair amount of noise about feature/feature comparisons. Let’s face facts, Apple can’t get everything right, so there are bound to be gaps.

  13. Jake,

    thanks for the mention, it is highly appreciated!

    And yes, Jajah allows you to make VoIP calls with your iPhone or iPod touch without installing any software or the need of jailbreaking it. Simply point your iPhone’s or iPod touch’s browser to http://iphone.jajah.com and place ultra low cost international VoIP calls. Wi-fi is not necessary, an EDGE connection is totally fine.

    How it worlks: http://blog.jajah.com/index.php?/archives/251-JAJAH-iPhone-Web-Applicaton-2.0-Released.html

    Regards to you and all your readers, get back to me anytime if you have any questions or feedback,

    Frederik

    (frederik[at]jajah[dot]com)

  14. Jake,

    thanks for the mention, it is highly appreciated!

    And yes, Jajah allows you to make VoIP calls with your iPhone or iPod touch without installing any software or the need of jailbreaking it. Simply point your iPhone’s or iPod touch’s browser to http://iphone.jajah.com and place ultra low cost international VoIP calls. Wi-fi is not necessary, an EDGE connection is totally fine.

    How it worlks: http://blog.jajah.com/index.php?/archives/251-JAJAH-iPhone-Web-Applicaton-2.0-Released.html

    Regards to you and all your readers, get back to me anytime if you have any questions or feedback,

    Frederik

    (frederik[at]jajah[dot]com)

  15. Thanks for the response Frederik. I didn’t realize Jajah worked over an Edge connection too, and I will update the post. I have yet to try it out, but I will eventually. Looks sweet.

  16. Thanks for the response Frederik. I didn’t realize Jajah worked over an Edge connection too, and I will update the post. I have yet to try it out, but I will eventually. Looks sweet.

  17. @Meg: If you believe the video from Gear Live, the 1.1.3 version will have near-GPS using Google Maps Mobile and the Maps app.

    So, the Map app will know your location with a decent accuracy, making it much more powerful for directions. That’s probably the top feature I’ve seen for 1.1.3.

    I haven’t heard other rumors about GPS on the iPhone, but I suspect it will be soon, i.e. within the next year.

  18. @Meg: If you believe the video from Gear Live, the 1.1.3 version will have near-GPS using Google Maps Mobile and the Maps app.

    So, the Map app will know your location with a decent accuracy, making it much more powerful for directions. That’s probably the top feature I’ve seen for 1.1.3.

    I haven’t heard other rumors about GPS on the iPhone, but I suspect it will be soon, i.e. within the next year.

  19. @Meg: If you believe the video from Gear Live, the 1.1.3 version will have near-GPS using Google Maps Mobile and the Maps app.

    So, the Map app will know your location with a decent accuracy, making it much more powerful for directions. That’s probably the top feature I’ve seen for 1.1.3.

    I haven’t heard other rumors about GPS on the iPhone, but I suspect it will be soon, i.e. within the next year.

  20. Hi,

    You might also want to check out SyncJe for iPhone at http://nexthaus.com/iphone

    Not free, but syncs Contacts, Cal, Notes, and has Automatic Sync.

    The other clients listed sync only contacts, or only cal, etc.

    Please let me know if there are any questions,
    Lou

  21. Hi,

    You might also want to check out SyncJe for iPhone at http://nexthaus.com/iphone

    Not free, but syncs Contacts, Cal, Notes, and has Automatic Sync.

    The other clients listed sync only contacts, or only cal, etc.

    Please let me know if there are any questions,
    Lou

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