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Apple Allows Lotus On iPhone (After Banning Competitor)

CmdrTaco posted about 6 years ago | from the stay-classy-apple dept.


ImNotAtWork writes "Apple is allowing IBM's Lotus to be installed on iPhones. Recently it killed a developer-submitted program that was deemed competitive with Apple's product."

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And the reason is... (1, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 6 years ago | (#25216999)

IBM can actually fight back.

Re:And the reason is... (5, Insightful)

mabinogi (74033) | about 6 years ago | (#25217063)

Or maybe it's because it's not a product being sold in the iPhone App Store, it's just a web application they point Safari at.

Re:And the reason is... (4, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 6 years ago | (#25217259)

Gah. That's what I get for believing a Slashdot summary. :^P

Re:And the reason is... (5, Insightful)

PainMeds (1301879) | about 6 years ago | (#25217629)

Or maybe it's because it's not a product being sold in the iPhone App Store, it's just a web application they point Safari at

Hence, it's entirely out of Apple's control, hence this is entirely non-news (just incase anyone was curious what the significance of this is).

Re:And the reason is... (3, Insightful)

Ilgaz (86384) | about 6 years ago | (#25218099)

A single bug in Safari for iPhone can prevent it from running and all Apple has to say is "oops". As it doesn't even allow other browsers like Opera, you will be in big trouble.

iPhone is not a business device as long as it is run by a fascistic policy. I pity the businesses who buys Apple's claims with 2-3 poster child apps and I _run_ everything on OS X/XServe.

Re:And the reason is... (2, Informative)

Dare nMc (468959) | about 6 years ago | (#25218689)

iPhone is not a business device as long as it is run by a fascistic policy.

Let me check my business for non published interfaces: Lotus notes, check; MS office, check; MS Windows, check; Cisco phone system, check; non standards VPN, check;
Seriously it is possible to run stuff on the Iphone, that's enough to make my company cringe. Let alone if it was open (ie friendly) to develop other tools for it.

Sure it is (0)

yabos (719499) | about 6 years ago | (#25218753)

There is the iPhone enterprise developer program where any business can write and run all the apps on the phones as they see fit.

Re:Sure it is (2, Insightful)

Constantine XVI (880691) | about 6 years ago | (#25219379)

And you honestly expect every business to write something as vital and complex as a Notes/GroupWise/Citadel/... client on their own, when they can just buy another hanset (like a BlackBerry) that handles them out of the box? Especially for such a petty reason as "duplicating built-in functionality"?

Re:And the reason is... (1)

Rary (566291) | about 6 years ago | (#25218421)

<conspiracy-theory>I wounder if "ImNotAtWork" is the developer of the slighted application.</conspiracy-theory>

Re:And the reason is... (1)

Space cowboy (13680) | about 6 years ago | (#25218679)

No need to invoke conspiracy theories - just use good old Occam [] ...

      INT hatesAllThingsMac:
                  hatesAllThingsMac = 1
                        to.slashdot = post


Re:And the reason is... (2, Interesting)

Ilgaz (86384) | about 6 years ago | (#25218067)

So you think IBM which is in size of a country would get same treatment as that poor freeware coder?

Re:And the reason is... (1)

xerxesVII (707232) | about 6 years ago | (#25218623)

Say again?

Re:And the reason is... (4, Insightful)

shitzu (931108) | about 6 years ago | (#25218129)

There is no grounds for comparing the app that was banned (essentially a Gmail front end as an app) and "allowing" iNotes ultralite that is actually a web page on your Notes/Domino server. This is just bad journalism on behalf of NY Times and seconded here.

Also - apple "allows" gmail web front end on iphone just exactly the same way it "allows" iNotes ultralite.

Re:And the reason is... (3, Funny)

norminator (784674) | about 6 years ago | (#25218427)

There is no grounds for comparing the app that was banned (essentially a Gmail front end as an app) and "allowing" iNotes ultralite that is actually a web page on your Notes/Domino server. This is just bad journalism on behalf of NY Times and seconded here.

Also - apple "allows" gmail web front end on iphone just exactly the same way it "allows" iNotes ultralite.

Did you hear? I just found out that they are also allowing slashdot and digg! This is great!

Re:And the reason is... (2, Informative)

phoomp (1098855) | about 6 years ago | (#25218661)

Actually, the NYT article says nothing about "Apple allowing Lotus on iPhone (after banning competitor)". In fact, it makes no mention at all of The article is only about IBM making a mobile Safari friendly version of Lotus.

Re:And the reason is... (1)

leamanc (961376) | about 6 years ago | (#25218251)

After reading your comment, and verifying that you are 100% right, I had to scroll back up to see who posted this story. I would have bet my testes on kdawson, but the great Rob Malda himself posted this crap?!?

Re:And the reason is... (2, Interesting)

linhares (1241614) | about 6 years ago | (#25219463)

"Or maybe it's because it's not a product being sold in the iPhone App Store, it's just a web application they point Safari at." Ok, now that you've made all comments redundant or irrelevant, let me ask you, dear leader: if the facebook app includes messaging functionality, doesn't it confuse users as much as the rejected gmail app?

Re:And the reason is... (1)

pastafazou (648001) | about 6 years ago | (#25217097)

It could also be because it's not a single stand-alone app like the other one was, it's part of an entire enterprise suite of products that work together.

Re:And the reason is... (1)

Lars T. (470328) | about 6 years ago | (#25217175)

Or IBM has actually read the SDK license.

Re:And the reason is... (1)

Poltras (680608) | about 6 years ago | (#25217973)

And talked with Apple about its ideas first.

Re:And the reason is... (4, Interesting)

polar red (215081) | about 6 years ago | (#25217245)

it could also be that Lotus sucks, so Apple's app has no real competition. (yes, i HAVE to use lotus at work)

Re:And the reason is... (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 6 years ago | (#25218477)

Shouldn't the summary be LOTUS NOTES? IBM does have other software under the LOTUS brand. And while I agree that the UI on NOTES leaves much to be desired the actual NOTES application (it's more an Access/SQL competitor than an Outlook/Exchange one) is incredible in its versatility and adaptability. And while we don't here about NOTES much in the media there are still thousands of companies who swear by it. For them this means the iPhone is now a possible alternative for their corporate environments. I'd say that was a good thing for Apple.

Re:And the reason is... (1)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | about 6 years ago | (#25219959)

> Lotus sucks

As mentioned you are probaly talking about notes. Lotus covers a wide range of products like connections, quickr, Sametime, Symphony.

I also suspect you are talking about an older version of notes. Currently out in the wild you have version 6 to 8 (pre 6 is no longer supported).

You are probably not on version 8. You can download the 8.5 beta2 for free and it is a very nice client. Written on the Eclipse RCP framework. So you can write plugins for it.

Can download here. []

I also recommend checking out Lotus greenhouse. []

Different Market (1)

cabjf (710106) | about 6 years ago | (#25217065)

The people (or businesses in this case) using Lotus are not the same type of people using Apple's built in programs. Not that I agree with banning competition, but their reasoning is most likely that this will help enterprise adoption and not hurt their consumer apps usage. After all, does anyone actually choose to use Lotus?

Re:Different Market (1)

Amouth (879122) | about 6 years ago | (#25217437)

"does anyone actually choose to use Lotus"

if refering to IBM i reallllllllllllly doubt it

but this Lotus i would be happy to choose to use - if someone else doesn't mind paying for it []

Withdraw this article before it's too late! (5, Informative)

astrosmash (3561) | about 6 years ago | (#25217085)

Lotus Notes for iPhone is just a plain old Web app. You can't stop the web.

Re:Withdraw this article before it's too late! (5, Informative)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about 6 years ago | (#25217157)

Seconded. I imagine that apple did, in fact, ban this from the 'real' application store, but this is a webapp - a monstrosity of HTML, Javascript, and AJAX. It's just a webpage, and Apple doesn't give two shits. And even if they did, they couldn't do anything about it.


Re:Withdraw this article before it's too late! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25220263)

You believe that Lotus had enough resources to write an app complicated enough to work with Notes, submit it to Apple, get it rejected, and THEN turn around and write a completely new web app?

You must have a really high opinion of Lotus.

Re:Withdraw this article before it's too late! (0)

wisty (1335733) | about 6 years ago | (#25217277)

Don't be so sure. iPhone v3 may have a link to a blacklist of web addresses, as well as a blacklist of apps.

Re:Withdraw this article before it's too late! (3, Insightful)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about 6 years ago | (#25217449)

Pointless. This is likely a self-hosted webapp (on your corporate Lotus server), which means their list would need to include, etc... that would be a Big Fucking Mistake. They might not care about the enmity of users, but they sure care about their business users who could just as easily go back to Windows Mobile.

Re:Withdraw this article before it's too late! (1)

RulerOf (975607) | about 6 years ago | (#25218501)

which means their list would need to include

Not necessarily.

I mean, think about it. All they'd have to do is update mobile Safari and force it to break the login page.

Admins would be scratching their heads for a while, and in the meantime, an underhanded developer could pay Apple some protection money to allow his "Universal Corporate Webmail" .app to be sold in the app store.

For $10 + $5 Apple Certified Protection Racket... Err, Program.

Re:Withdraw this article before it's too late! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25219093)

You guys need to up your THC intake. You can successfully smoke yourself beyond the point of paranoia if you have decent weed and a big enough bag.

Re:Withdraw this article before it's too late! (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about 6 years ago | (#25220399)

Then three things would happen:

1. The login page would be 'fixed' to render properly and life would continue as normal
2. This is pretty obvious, isn't it? The only thing they could reasonably break and have it be called an accident would be some styling thing. You can't break forms for the page without it being obvious, you can't break them globally without it being really obvious, so you can stop serving a stylesheet until you have it fixed. This would be found out and it would be really obvious.
3. Corporate use is perhaps the best thing for Apple. If corps start to use their stuff, then people will use it at home either because 'I want to be used to corp america's stuff' or 'I use it at work, why not at home?'. The same stuff fueling Microsoft at the moment. Killing the possibility of corporate use in such a way would likely destroy Apple. When IT says 'no' to Macs in the workplace because they break stuff to make them money, nobody else is going to use it at home.

I think you need to cut the weed, dude. It's pretty easy to dislike apple, but they aren't incompetent by any stretch of the imagination. And this would be a screw-up of epic proportions and lawsuit-worthy to boot.

Re:Withdraw this article before it's too late! (2, Insightful)

Atriqus (826899) | about 6 years ago | (#25217369)

Give it time, they'll "fix the glitch". To paraphrase:
Apple interprets choice as damage and routes around it.

The Next iPhone Killbot (1)

Graff (532189) | about 6 years ago | (#25218373)

Wernstrom: [] "Ladies and gentlemen, my Killbot features Lotus Notes and a machine gun. It is the finest available."

I am an Apple fan boy but... (0)

CountBrass (590228) | about 6 years ago | (#25217103)

...this really makes me shake my head.

I can't understand why Apple would be so desperate to block third party browser and mail apps. It appears to make no sense.

Re:I am an Apple fan boy but... (1)

rogermcdodger (1113203) | about 6 years ago | (#25217219)

Better to be safe than sorry? It will be a lot harder to remove something (well maybe not for Apple) once it is in place.

Re:I am an Apple fan boy but... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 6 years ago | (#25217273)

It's conceivable that it violates their agreement with AT&T (or one or more of the other carriers). AT&T was probably nervous about the unlimited data plan, and it would make sense for the contract to restrict the types of programs that can access the network.

Re:I am an Apple fan boy but... (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | about 6 years ago | (#25217581)

and in europe?

Re:I am an Apple fan boy but... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 6 years ago | (#25218313)

and in europe?

I'm not entirely sure what you mean. If you mean "Why don't they allow it for carriers without such an agreement?" - well, I'd again speculate that maybe it would be too hard to keep track of what users were with what carrier under what contract... at least in the short term. They may also not want to get in a marketing situation where people say things like, "The iPhone is great when you download Skype - but the AT&T iPhone is crippled and does not allow this."

This is all just speculation on my part though - I have no idea. Apple could just as easily be trying to control the "user experience" in a kind of Draconian way.

Re:I am an Apple fan boy but... (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | about 6 years ago | (#25217909)

Apple is blocking every potential "iTunes store" competitor in fact. If you look to all that SDK madness, Flash not being included, no Java (even if Sun codes free) and "no apps can interpret".

Well this summery makes no sense (3, Informative)

falcon5768 (629591) | about 6 years ago | (#25217109)

Lotus notes is not the same as using Mail and iCal on the iPhone. The program that was denied by Apple usurped those apps into its own app. To my knowledge Mail or iCal have no Lotus syncing features.

It's Good to be the King (1)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about 6 years ago | (#25217125)

My enemy's enemy is my ... hey ... whatever happened to that Vista company?

Notes is different (1, Interesting)

wandazulu (265281) | about 6 years ago | (#25217129)

I'm not defending Apple's decisions on what apps can run and can't; if anything I'm really p*ssed that they would prevent any "competitive" product from running on the iPhone.

That said, Notes is something completely different than a straight email program. If anything, it's basically a database program, and email is just another schema in it. It's so completely unlike regular email programs that I could see Apple not having a problem with it, especially since you need to have a Notes server to get/put anything, unlike a regular SMTP/IMAP/POP server, and a Notes server, coming from IBM, is not free.

Basically this is like permitting Oracle's Financial app to be installed; it's only useful if you have the back end system (which also costs $$$$$$$$).

Re:Notes is different (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | about 6 years ago | (#25217719)

You've apparently been drinking far too much of Lotus' kool-aid. Yes, Notes can do lots of databasey things. But, let's be honest here. No matter how much Notes infrastructure your company tries to put in place, well over 90% of most users' experience with it is email. Lotus simply needs to understand that.

I really wish Lotus would get this concept through their heads. I don't care HOW much they try to sell its other "features" (which now directly compete against ... WEB APPLICATIONS!), if they can't get a usable, reliable, crash-proof email program set up, nothing else will matter.

(I get regular "surveys" from Lotus ... and I keep sending them this same feedback each time. I don't expect them to listen, but at least I can feel like I've done all I can to improve the lives of millions of Lotus users.)

Re:Notes is different (1)

afidel (530433) | about 6 years ago | (#25217953)

Hah, I've seen plenty of places that have replaced Notes for email functionality but kept it for the huge volume of home grown apps that use it's great database replication infrastructure to positive effect. It's almost always more cost effective to pay for CAL's and maintenance then to try to replicate the functionality in a new system. Also, the email experience has been vastly changed with the Notes 8 client, it's much more Outlooky.

Re: Notes is crap (2, Informative)

icebrain (944107) | about 6 years ago | (#25218699)

Lotus notes may have a great database or whatever, and some nice features like integrated calendars and meeting notes... but the interface sucks donkey nuts. Rotten, maggoty, herpes-infected donkey nuts.

Keyboard shortcuts and terminology are completely different from every other program out there. I mean, F5 is the standard refresh key in Windows and every other program I've used... but in Notes, F5 is the "lock interface" key. F9 refreshes. And selecting multiple items with control or shift doesn't work; you need to use the little check column. WTF, IBM?

Instead of all the options being in one place, different options and configuration screens are accessed through completely different menus, with no logic as to which option is available in which menu. WTF, IBM?

Notes insists on putting that stupid email header with a picture and scroll boxes on every fracking email. I guess it's designed to look like stationery, or like a formal memo. But that fancy header takes 800 bytes. And when you replicate that over a chain of emails with quoted history, it starts taking up a good bit of space. WTF, IBM?

And speaking of quoting emails... trimming quoted emails is a major pain in the ass. Say you want to trim the ten quoted emails down to two, because your idiot coworkers don't... if you accidentally move the mouse just a little bit, and highlight beyond the magical invisible point in the quoted text, it selects all of the quoted material, and there's no way to back up other than starting over. WTF, IBM?

There's no way to just delete the attachment on emails in your inbox, so they sit there cluttering up space. I know you can download the attachment, but you can't save the email in with the rest of them. I want to be able to delete the attachment and keep the email in my inbox. And please delete the attachment automatically with replies... I'm tired of seeing the 3mb file I emailed out turning up in every one of the seven replies. Is that too much to ask?

Re:Notes is different (2, Informative)

gad_zuki! (70830) | about 6 years ago | (#25218011)

I think its incredible that they wont let people download their own email client. The vendor of the phone shouldnt even have this power. Email clients are basic functionality. Installing your own doesnt hurt Apple in any way. Typical Apple: run by short-sighted MBAs. Im so glad I didnt give in to the iphone madness. WM isnt sexy but it runs everything.

Re:Notes is different (1)

MalleusEBHC (597600) | about 6 years ago | (#25220293)

While I completely agree that Apple needs to seriously loosen it's grip on iPhone developers, I wouldn't say this is a decision driven by "short-sighted MBAs." It's far more likely that this is Steve Jobs saying, "My way is the best, and you can only do it my way."

+1 for actually reading the article before posting (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25217147)

Did the poster even read this article before posting it? It clearly says that it's a web based application that will run through the Safari browser. Nothing gets installed on the iPhone. Try reading it next time before posting, that way the headline you choose might make sense.

Re:+1 for actually reading the article before post (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25217373)

Granted the presentation of this post is a bit trollish, he's nonetheless right.

Parent is NOT a troll... (4, Insightful)

SenseiLeNoir (699164) | about 6 years ago | (#25217493)

I cannot understand the reason why the parent is a troll. The "application" in this case is a web application, not a native installed application.

The post, states clearly:

"Apple is allowing IBM's Lotus to be installed on iPhones. Recently it killed a developer submitted program that was deemed competitive with Apple's product."

Which is wrong. I cannot see that the parent is a "troll". IT could even be argued the actual Slashdot post is a troll (patent lie, followed by a heated "angle" to start a flamewar)

Re:+1 for actually reading the article before post (1)

Rary (566291) | about 6 years ago | (#25218365)

And this is to say nothing of the poorly worded second sentence (of a two-sentence summary) which stopped me dead in my tracks:

"Recently it killed a developer..." -- wait, what?!? -- "...submitted program..." oh, whew!

they will allow flash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25217155)

if they choose to allow flash, many shortcomings like low battery life, no background tasks, and general system inestability will be even more common.

IBM (2, Insightful)

rlp (11898) | about 6 years ago | (#25217159)

IBM has more influence with Apple than Joe Random Developer. What a surprise ...

Re:IBM (1)

doomedpr0digy (1143953) | about 6 years ago | (#25217427)

this shows no influence on IBM's part. Anyone can make a web app, as stated many times above. This is not /. newsworthy and is very inaccurate

Actually, it's quite the opposite (3, Informative)

vadeskoc (1374195) | about 6 years ago | (#25217447)

As many others have already noted, this is just a web app, and the parallels drawn to app banning are misguided on a number of fronts). What's surprising is that IBM got completely shut-out on the enterprise side of things. At the 3G release keynote, "enterprise" basically was taken to mean "Exchange," and IBM was left twiddling their thumbs. There's an IBM exec's blog that I found amusing to read ( If you thumb through the back archives and read between the lines, you can see the s*t-storm of "Why aren't you guys on iPhone" that he had to deal with, followed by a series of petulant "we didn't want to be on the iPhone in the first place" and "look how un-secure the iPhone is" posts.

That's not what I've read... (4, Informative)

pstorry (47673) | about 6 years ago | (#25218663)

That's not what I read at Ed Brill's site...

What I read was lots of iPhone fanboys screaming that there was no enterprise sync with Domino/Notes, and that this would single-handedly kill the product as Corporate America spent the next month doing nothing but throwing out all phones for iPhones, and all mail systems for Exchange.
(That's why I call them fanboys - their reasoned analysis and reaction identifies them as such to me.)

IBM's response was (and had to be) "Apple didn't approach us about it, and we can't do it on our own as the SDK as shipped doesn't have the appropriate APIs exposed".
Basically, Apple chose to work with Microsoft only when it came to synching with Enterprise systems, and IBM has little control over that.

Now, IBM had _already_ been developing the iNotes Lite system that the NY Times article refers to.

The full iNotes webmail system is pretty good, but it's also a pretty complicated web application which only ran on a couple of supported browsing platforms - all desktop. (For example, until recently, it was actually IE only, with ActiveX components.)

To give people access to the basics no matter what the (modern) browser someone was using, iNotes Lite was developed. (The betas have been shown to work on the Opera browser of a Nintendo Wii, amongst other things.)

So this wasn't even really developed specifically for the iPhone. It's just the first thing that IBM have shipped which can work on an iPhone.

IBM may or may not be working with Apple to get more native integration working on the iPhone. But given how open and public Apple are, we likely wouldn't know until it ships.

But let's be clear - the real blocker is the lack of support from Apple. This isn't specific to IBM - my understanding is that if you wanted to write something that used SyncML to synchronise an iPhone and a Funambol server, you couldn't do it either. The SDK has no documented ways of doing access to the mail/calender/to-do application storage that would allow integration, so unless you can work with Apple directly you're stuck.

What's really interesting is that IBM's marketing is now spinning it as "The iPhone wasn't secure, this is".

That could be IBM giving up on Apple and just going with what they've got. Or it could be IBM toning their public reaction down from "Apple are crap and don't want to work with us" because they are working with Apple now.

Only time will tell.

I feel pretty sorry for IBM on this whole affair. The sheer hype around the iPhone makes this somehow a major story, when in the grand scheme of things - even within the computing world - it's actually rather a non-event...

IBM not on the AppStore, just a webapp. (5, Informative)

Hozza (1073224) | about 6 years ago | (#25217171)

The IBM system is just a web app i.e. a web page with AJAX, viewed via Safari on the iphone. Of course Apple can't ban it, anymore than they can ban you from visiting gmail with an iphone.

The whole AppStore NDA issue is important, and worthy of discussion, but can we at least avoid FUD ridden straw men like this one.

well, yeah (0)

Trailer Trash (60756) | about 6 years ago | (#25217207)

Is Lotus Notes considered "competitive" to anything?

Re:well, yeah (2, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 6 years ago | (#25217573)

Waterboarding and rope burn.

Lotus what? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25217215)


No, no, and no. (0)

yttrstein (891553) | about 6 years ago | (#25217239)

Lotus is a suite of applications, much like Microsoft Office Super Deluxe Expenz-0-pro 2011 isn't just a word processor.

So while in one case a piece of software was written that had identical functionality as the mail app on the iphone, the other is a leviathan of "one stop computing" functionality, done up only as IBM can. Additionally, since Lotus can use its own proprietary method of communication between nodes, it's entirely expected that this app won't know what the hell IMAP is. Nor does it need to, since it's not a functional clone of Apple mail on any platform.

Unfortunately the App Store debacle has grown to ridiculous proportions, almost entirely by the users themselves, each clamoring for a better view of the Pocket Protector Revolution, where right-thinking geeks everywhere will suddenly rise up, tear away the chains of their oppressors, and insure that everyone enjoys free (as in beer) tea, cake, and quality software forever.

Re:No, no, and no. (1)

hey! (33014) | about 6 years ago | (#25217413)

I think they're referring to the notes, which is a groupware platform capable of email, calendering, workflow management etc. Kind of like Exchange and Sharepoint.

Except they're not. It's just a web front end to Notes.

It would be interesting though,because Notes was a highly secure system for doing these things back before the Internet was in widespread use. Even though it ran on primitive platforms, it included features like two factor security, digital signatures, robust encryption for communication and local storage, revokable certificates ... all kinds of amazing goodies.

And it did it on machines with no memory protection and only four megabytes of RAM.

It would be nice to be able to take work out on a mobile platform without having to expose some kind of front end to the web.

Re:No, no, and no. (1)

yttrstein (891553) | about 6 years ago | (#25217695)

I remember the days when Notes ran with no memory protection and on only four megabytes of RAM. It did what every other program did in those days: It crashed a lot and brought the whole system down with it, every time.

I'd thought for some reason the article had made mention of the (a) thick client for the iPhone, but re-reading it, it appears I gleaned that from some other source which unfortunately isn't springing to mind at the moment.

Re:No, no, and no. (1)

hey! (33014) | about 6 years ago | (#25218223)

I remember the days when Notes ran with no memory protection and on only four megabytes of RAM. It did what every other program did in those days: It crashed a lot and brought the whole system down with it, every time.

Sure. I didn't find it crashy, but there's no question such platforms could crash, say through OLE or something like that. The iPhone of course is much more sophisticated and safe.

The key point is that it didn't expose confidential and proprietary information to any script kiddie with an Internet connection. It was, in fact, good enough for the CIA's email, and any kind of groupware/computer supported cooperative work application involving sensitive proprietary data you can imagine. It might be ugly as hell doing it, but it was much safer.

In any case, one thing I always tell young programmers: crashes aren't the worst thing your program can do. Managers and buyers often view crashiness as the height of badness, but in fact it is far from it. The worst things an application can do, in no particular order are: (1) lose data, (2) expose sensitive data, (3) create false data.

That, in fact, is why crashes exist. It's not that they're good, it's that they're better than the alternative. Not grasping this is very, very dangerous, especially so for many years in the Java world, with its plethora of frameworks with checked exceptions. You can easily stop your program from crashing: you catch any exception and proceed as if nothing happened. But, oh, is that so much worse than crashing.

And your point is??? (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 6 years ago | (#25217305)

IBM's Lotus provides more functionality than the email app that was not allowed by Apple.

There certainly seems to be a lot of whining by a vocal few who feel entitled to access to the iPhone. I especially enjoy the whining of people who have their apps disallowed. The reasons for the app rejection were well known, if only they had read the developers' agreement with Apple that they had agreed to before they started developing their apps.

Um... (1)

bytethese (1372715) | about 6 years ago | (#25217315)

1. This is not an app, but a web app: []
2. Even if it WAS an app, I can't use iPhone's Mail app to access a Domino Directory (such as the one at my employer). mail app can access GMail and this is why the app got rejected. Seems these two scenarios are different. 3. All aboard the /. failboat...

ImNotAtWork... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25217319)


It is a law of nature that (1)

Jodka (520060) | about 6 years ago | (#25217329)

Any justifiable limit on freedom will be adapted to unjustifiable purposes for which it was not originally intended.

There is a legitimate justification for denying developers unrestricted freedom to publish iPhone apps: It keeps consumers safe from malicious applications.

Now that after the policy of denying freedom to publish has been established, for that legitimate purpose, it is adapted to the illegitimate purposes of restraining competition and playing favorites.

Notes isn't an email client (1)

argent (18001) | about 6 years ago | (#25217353)

Notes email client isn't even a *good* email client.

Notes is more like a browser for a weird mainframe version of the web, based on copying and synchronizing databases. It's like what you'd have gotten if OSI networking and IBM mainframes had been the basis of the world wide web.

Re:Notes isn't an email client (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25218391)

ding ding ding.

Notes is not a competitor (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25217367)

As anyone who has been forced to use Notes will tell you.

Re:Notes is not a competitor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25218029)

Too bad there's not a "+1 Funny AND True" mod.

And if you think Notes on Windows is awful, try the Mac version!

If someone gave me the choice of using the Mac Notes client as my only email client for a month, or having a pinecone shoved up my ass once a day for a month, I'd really have to sit down and think that one over.

Lotus is a brand, not a product (4, Insightful)

brucmack (572780) | about 6 years ago | (#25217371)

Lotus is a brand, not a product. As far as I know, the product IBM Lotus is releasing for the iPhone is iNotes, the webmail interface to a Lotus Domino mail server. This isn't a Notes client for the iPhone.

Bad Summary (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about 6 years ago | (#25217513)

Apple didn't "a developer submitted program that was deemed competitive with Apple's product" - the did not approve an app that they felt had no difference from an existing, core application. Releasing an app, for profit, that does the exact same thing as an existing core app _should_ result in it not being approved. Something tells me that Lotus is quite dramatically different from the core apps on the iPhone which is why it was approved. Had the other developer actually _developed_ a mail app, with different features and functionality, it would have been approved.

Is it too much to ask for submission summaries that aren't so blatantly biased and inaccurate?

Re:Bad Summary (1)

jeremyp (130771) | about 6 years ago | (#25217769)

Is it too much to ask that people who complain about inaccurate Slashdot summaries actually RTFA so they don't also make the same mistakes as the summarizer?

Clue: Apple didn't need to approve anything because the iPhone Notes client is a web application.

Re:Bad Summary (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 6 years ago | (#25217799)


Windows XP comes with IE, and yet installing firefox isn't that uncommon. You think Microsoft should disallow that since they feel is has "no difference from an existing, core application"?

I'm not allowed a preference?

Re:Bad Summary (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | about 6 years ago | (#25218039)

If you stop buying Apple's claim that iPhone is a smart phone, it will be easier for you to understand.

iPhone is something like moving shell for iTunes and a device embedded OS X. Apps are like music and movies which Apple has control.

Symbian and Windows Mobile devices are computers running a dedicated expandable operating system which vendor has only control over "security" and "safety" of user. Apple tries (in fact accomplishes) to control the whole experience on device. When you buy it, you accept it. If you stay on actual smart phones like Symbian and Windows Mobile and even J2ME, especially if you are Apple computer user, you send a message.

not the same (1)

fermion (181285) | about 6 years ago | (#25217523)

The program that was banned appeared to do nothing that did not do. The google thing has been part of it for a while. If this app allows direct access to the lotus server, then that is something new and maybe useful, especially if it works. I cannot get the phone to work with exchange.

It is annoying that apple will just not allow any app that is not malicious, but I haven't seen a case where something useful (other than voip and other things that ATT will not allow) has been banned.

This stuff is almost dupes (1)

David Gerard (12369) | about 6 years ago | (#25217525)

Apple still evil. [] FairPlay-encrypted H.264 video at 11.

But it is IBM, not a no name competitor (3, Funny)

nomad63 (686331) | about 6 years ago | (#25217773)

The inherent reason to allow lotus notes on the i-evil-phone is to penetrate into the corporate IT infrastructure to replace the crackberry. As most of the readers here know, IBM's Lotus Notes still hold a chunky size of enterprise messaging market, to the dismay of Redmond. By allowing Lotus notes, they are making the inroads.

Also whoever thinks Lotus notes has a better UI than any mail app, is insane in my opinion. People use Lotus notes because they have to by corporate policy. When they add it to their i-phones, it is not going to replace the use of mailapp by no means, with the exception of 3 masochistic i-phone owners. Whereas the addition of a better functioning maill front end, might force Apple to revisit theor own mail app, which means money out of Steve the conman's pocket. It is intolerable...

Since when is Notes a viable e-mail client? (2, Funny)

t-maxx cowboy (449313) | about 6 years ago | (#25217843)

Sorry to say this but I don't think Lotus Notes should be considered a viable e-mail client.

I know this sounds like a troll, but I have to use it every day, and honestly trying to get raw e-mail source is a chore that no one should have to ever do.

This decision for Apple however does contradict the position for the so called small developer that had their app banned for competing.

Re:Since when is Notes a viable e-mail client? (1)

dominux (731134) | about 6 years ago | (#25218411)

to be fair, reading raw email headers is something not many people should ever have to do. Just open a mail and select view-source from the menus. Not hard at all. It does suck a bit that you have to open the mail first. There is also an API for parsing and processing mime entities. Not especially hard to use.

Re:Since when is Notes a viable e-mail client? (1)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | about 6 years ago | (#25219697)

"Sorry to say this but I don't think Lotus Notes should be considered a viable e-mail client."

Works fine as an email client. Now if all you bought it for was email then yes your correct, you wasted your money.

btw you can get the raw MIME fine from the mail message (java/lotusscript). But your average user would never need to do it, so its not an option by default.

ooh goody... (2, Funny)

ewrong (1053160) | about 6 years ago | (#25217919)

That means I can get my nice shiny super slick iPhone running a cluncky UI from the early 90's. Where's the install button?

Just hope they didn't forget the "Internet-Style Forward" option.

Re:ooh goody... (1)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | about 6 years ago | (#25219635)

Early 90's? Notes 8.0.1 was released this year and 8.5 should be released near the end of the year.

TWW where is the Blackberry Connect for iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25218113)

The iPhone is missing on this list. [] It stopped me dead in my tracks from buying any iPhone's for the office.

BTW, the preferred mechanisms for accessing Lotus Notes email when out of the office are as follows:

  • Authentication by user certificate. Then download messages only to encrypted device.
  • Blackberry connect access to mail file. This allow limited ability to work with attachments, which is viewed as a "good" thing because the device is not encrypted.

p.s. TWW []

Re:TWW where is the Blackberry Connect for iPhone (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | about 6 years ago | (#25219723)

Blackberry connect access to mail file. This allow limited ability to work with attachments, which is viewed as a "good" thing because the device is not encrypted.

Not sure about BB-Connect, but "real" BlackBerrys support full-device encryption, and it can be enforced via BES*. Combined with the fact that all BB-BES communication's encrypted and the remote self-destruct, they're pretty damn secure.

PS: The latest firmware also allows full attachment downloading.

*BlackBerry Enterprise Server, the conduit between a Exchange/Notes/GroupWise server and the handhelds/Connect.

"Recently [Apple] killed a developer" (2, Funny)

mkcmkc (197982) | about 6 years ago | (#25218195)

I'm definitely switching to Linux now...

Apple needs a dose of humility... (1)

thepacketmaster (574632) | about 6 years ago | (#25218583)

First, the summary is bad, since IBM is not selling anything through the App Store, and the "other" competitor was actually selling through the App store. Apple really needs to stop thinking they are the greatest thing ever. Let's face it, most people who have bought the iPhone are either Mac addicts, or they simple liked the all-in-one package of cell phone, GPS, iPod, PDA, game platform. That being said, some of the Apple-included applications really are lacking (aka "sucking"). The Mail application has no search capability, the Contacts applicationis still slow (although not as slow as it was originally), the Map application is definitely no Tom-Tom, and Stocks is nothing compared to Bloomberg's app (which I'm surprised they haven't band because of that).

or it's just a web app. what the hell? (1)

xxdesmus (932581) | about 6 years ago | (#25218827)

It's just a web app. did you guys even bother to read? I realize you wouldn't have anything to bitch about if you acknowledged that it's a web app, but still. Try reading.

A "Real" iPhone App is Coming, too (1)

Mattazuma (1255022) | about 6 years ago | (#25219055)

Per the CNet story linked to below, IBM is working on an iPhone application for Lotus Notes, called Traveler. [] I played around a little with the ultralight webapp, it is ok, but still buggy.

Apple would argue it was to ease user confusion... (1)

KillNateD (31007) | about 6 years ago | (#25219443)

MailWrangler didn't get banned for being "competitive," per se. It was because it "duplicated the functionality" of MobileMail. Ditto for Podcaster duplicating the iPod app.

The legitimate, user-positive argument Apple would likely make is they want the device to be easy to use and not confusing, such that there's no compelling reason to have a million different music players or Mail apps when theirs are great.

It's misleading to describe Apple's motivations as being anti-competive. Nobody knows that they're thinking. And they seem hellbent on not explaining themselves.

It is, of course, totally and completely stupid for Apple not to address these questions directly, be more clear about what will or won't be allowed, and to allow both MailWrangler and Podcaster on the store. It's just dumb, dumb, dumb.

WTF Slashdot?!?!!? (2)

Warlock7 (531656) | about 6 years ago | (#25219497)

What a dumb, misleading title for an article. Well, welcome to the anti-Apple bandwagon /.

Seems funny that this "story" is being presented the way that it is. Lotus Notes on an iPhone is a web app through the browser, this has absolutely nothing to do with the App Store, as is implied by the twit writing the story about the article. Apple has nothing to do with allowing or disallowing Lotus Notes to run since it's not an app in the app store.

More fucking hate...

Notes is a whole lot more than a Mail application. (1)

CatOne (655161) | about 6 years ago | (#25219753)

I mean, a WHOLE lot more. I fail to really see the "competitor" thing where a Gmail checker is concerned, frankly.

When I used Notes it was awful, and I hated it, but certainly there are many uses for it besides checking email, and I'm sure there are substantial requests for Notes for the iPhone that will drive iPhone option, as opposed to a Gmail app that does really repeate what's built into Mobile Mail.

Heard in Cupertino (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 6 years ago | (#25219871)

iPhone isn't done until Lotus won't run!

BlackBerry for the win! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25219893)

You know, I bought an iPhone a month and a half ago. Before I left the mall with it, it dropped two calls on me, failed to connect to a couple web sites, and failed to let me into my email.

I returned it. Then I bought a BlackBerry Curve. The BlackBerry is better than the Treo I was replacing in almost every way. And while the web browser clearly isn't as smooth as the iPhone's browser, the BlackBerry is terrifically easy to navigate. Oh, and I don't have to make excuses for a poorly-implemented on-screen keyboard. I love the BlackBerry keyboard.

Sensationalism at Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25220257)

Sensationalism is not good guys, plus let's face it, even if it was an iPhone app, comparing a decision on Apple's side for a product with zero licenses to another with 140 million is kind of misleading.
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