Tuesday, July 22, 2008

iPhone 2.0 Software - Push

Everybody knows that iPhone 2.0 software supports Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. But the devil details are as follows (based on my experience):
  • Exchange email & calendaring works beautifully - just like the preview videos Apple showed and like BlackBerry and ActiveSync users have been enjoying for a while. And setup is a breeze using the iPhone Configuration Utility. It does feel a bit strange to email the config file instead of just dowloading it to an attached iPhone. But it'll work well for enterprise users - "one profile to rule them all".
  • Cisco VPN setup with Group authentication is a bit awkward.
  • If you get a lot of emails, like 1 every 5 minutes, because someone put you on a jillion lists then enabling 'Push' will drain your iPhone's battery enough to require daily charging even with minimum use. Plus your phone vibrates every 5 seconds and makes you look like a twitching retard. Use Fetch with settings of 15 min, 30 min or 1 hour - depending on how desperate you are.
  • Someone tells me that there are specific push-related rules, i.e. set a rule to determine which email messages get pushed. But apparently it is only available, for setting, through Outlook. I use a Mac and checked Outlook Web Access using IE on Windows XP under Fusion, but could not find it. Need more research!

  • Below are relevant documents & links on the subject.
  1. Apple's docs on implemented/omitted features: http://support.apple.com/manuals/en_US/Enterprise_Deployment_Guide.pdf
  2. MSFT blog comparing the implementations: http://blogs.msdn.com/jasonlan/archive/2008/07/18/iphone-2-0-windows-mobile-for-push-email.aspx
  3. Exchange ActiveSync FAQ: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/exchange/bb288524.aspx

Sunday, July 13, 2008

iPhone 2.0

So it seems that lots of existing iPhone (1.x) owners had serious problems in either downloading the new 2.0 OS or installing it ("got bricked") or activating their phone after installation. My experience was different. It did take iTunes a while before it was ready to update the iPhone OS. Around 5pm it allowed me to download and in 15 minutes the new OS was installed, 5 more minutes to restore settings from backup.

First review:
Very good set of usability improvements. Location-finding (even without A-GPS) seems to work a whole lot better (better than 1.1.3 atleast). But the App.Store is amazing. Find an app, select it for download, enter your iTunes Store password and in minutes it flies! Ofcourse this works best in WiFi covered areas. Have to see how long it takes to download a few megs over EDGE.

The range of app's seems pretty impressive for day one. It's hard to believe what will come in the next few months and years. All the promises and potential from the iPhone SDK preview are going to be true. This is the mobile platform of choice. The best developers are or will be flocking to produce iPhone apps.

Multi-Touch is Key
One thing is clear - the bold and courageous choice Apple made in using a touchscreen and forgoing any keys (except 'home', volume, vibrate & 'sleep') is paying off bigtime. Applications are free to define user interaction in a very very customized way. No crazy remapping or multipurposing (using alt/shift...) of the numeric keypad or other buttons; no need to cramp 3 letters of the tinniest font on/around each key. The slight loss of speed is replaced by the elegance of a well-defined, aesthetic and colored interface. App. developers have better freedom than PC's to create a new way for user interaction. Make no mistake, the new way is and will be more impactful to the consumer adoption than anything else.

iPhone meet IT
The addition of MS Exchange support, Cisco VPN and iPhone Configuration Utility to iPhone is as big as the switch to Intel for Mac's. These new features are basic product features to compete against Blackberry and Windows Mobile in the corporate market. The rest will be in continuous courting of corporate IT. Ofcourse employees bugging IT and the attraction of CXO's to the iPhone will push IT to start supporting the iPhone.

PC vs. Mac all over again?
The iPhone and its OS togather unquestionably form the best mobile platform today. Windows Mobile came out years before iPhone OS (unlike Mac OS vs. Windows), but has yet to mature in terms of user experience. WM has all/most of the needed functionality, but is defiicient in other areas. It took Windows almost 10-15 years to mature into a stable and, relatively speaking, usable form (with 2000 and XP). But the story of licensing OS' is worth considering. Will Apple license iPhone OS? No it won't! Not with the success of the Mac, iPhone and iTunes. They are more confident than ever of their beliefs, innovation and capabilities.

More on the following in later posts.

Real Challenger #1: Nokia/Symbian
Nokia/Symbian clearly see the challenge and their recent changes are interesting to say the least.

Real Challenger #2: Google Android

Wake up time: Microsoft Windows Mobile

No Hope #1: Pure Open Source/Linux-styled mobile OS's

No Hope #2: Blackberry OS/devices

Friday, July 4, 2008

Forgot Master Password on Mac

If you forget the Master Password on your Mac, you are in trouble! But if you have set the Master Password but not turned on FileVault then you are in luck.

Here's how to fix the problem:

Just delete the file /Library/Keychains/FileVaultMaster.keychain
This will reset the master password. Or you could go into terminal and type
"sudo rm /Library/keychains/filevaultmaster.keychain"
and your problem is solved.