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What iOS 4 Does (and Doesn't Do) For Business

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the step-one-is-downloading-it dept.

Handhelds 253

snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Galen Gruman investigates what businesses can expect from Apple's new iOS 4. Multitasking, the biggest new capability, is for now simply a promise, as apps will need to be retrofitted to make use of the capability. The other big new capability for IT, a set of APIs that allow BlackBerry-like management of the iPhone, such as auditing of policies and apps, over-the-air provisioning of apps without iTunes, and over-the-air configuration and policy management, also remains in the realm of promise, as the various mobile management tools that have been reworked to take advantage of the new iOS 4 capabilities won't be available until July or later. And despite the fact that email works more as it does on the desktop, iOS 4 still fails to deliver several email capabilities key to business users, including zipped attachment management, junk mail filtering, message rules, and message flagging."

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Ooops... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654314)

I pooped in CmdrTaco's cornflakes.

So what (-1, Flamebait)

strikeleader (937501) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654334)

None of this matters to the sheep

Re:So what (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654366)

None of this matters to the owners of 1st generation iPhones either.

Re:So what (0, Troll)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654964)

You mean owners of long since broken down, warranty expired, 1st generation iPods...

OH! sorry...*blerg* you said iPhone not iPod...my bad...i thought that sounded weird considering the topic...

Ok, let me reiterate;

You mean owners of soon to be broken down, warranty expired, 1st generation iPhones.

Re:So what (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654386)

No serious business users use iPhones or iPads. Those devices are merely entertainment devices. They don't boost business productivity at all.

Re:So what (0, Troll)

MikeDataLink (536925) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654638)

Wow. -1 Troll to you my friend.

You obviously haven't seen what retailers are doing with these devices.

Re:So what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654808)

Apple was still selling refurbished 1st generation iPod touches last year. iOS4 is not compatible with those either. 1 year of support for the product I purchased from them doesn't seems very long in my eyes.

Re:So what (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654828)

mac faggot alert! mod him -1 or slashdot will become 100 percent gay!

Re:So what (0, Flamebait)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654422)

It matters because it'll make more people sheep.

Do you know how many people pick other phones over an iPhone simply for the ability to multitask?

Re:So what (1)

flipper9 (109877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654556)

The iPhone can't multitask? I've been multitasking for months now on my iPhone 3Gs, been tethering on AT&T, been using folders to organize my many applications, been able to lock rotation, all without a hitch. Granted I had to jailbreak the device (crazy easy to do with Blackra1n), but it works great!

Re:So what (0, Troll)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654686)

And how's your warranty looking these days? It shouldn't be expected behaviour that you have to invalidate a warranty that you've paid for just to be able to use the device to its full.

Re:So what (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654972)

I'm so sick of this stupid argument. All you have to do it flash it back with the original firmware, which is simple, if something goes wrong with it and you need to take it back to the store. If something is so wrong with it that it won't boot up, then it won't matter anyway if you had it jailbroken. OF COURSE it voids the warranty - think about it. You get a Camaro and the engine has more potential, so you put in a mod chip - guess what - voided warranty. Or you have a TV that is 60Hz but you try to upgrade it yourself to get 120Hz cuz you know it probably can do it. . . voided warranty. It's just a troll argument from people who can't afford the iPhone so they don't like it that so many people have and enjoy them thoroughly.

Re:So what (2, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32655018)

This is not true. The warranty on the camaro for anything GM could not prove the chip did stays in place. This is a law that needs to apply to more than just cars.
I say this as someone who voided the warranty on his droid by flashing it.

Re:So what (-1, Flamebait)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654696)

You're absolutely right. The Apple hating sheep will continue to hate Apple no matter what they do. Most of them have no long term experience with the products they attack, but they'll shoot their mouths off anyway.

Email capabilities (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654374)

iOS 4 still fails to deliver several email capabilities key to business users, including zipped attachment management, junk mail filtering, message rules, and message flagging.

What F'd up sadistic moron would push the junk mail filtering, message rules, and flagging down to the client? Wouldn't that mean that each client would be configured separately? I always set up that stuff so the user can configure it at the server level so that their laptop, desktop, phone, etc all are seeing the same exact mailstore. These are probably the same people that considering having "Sent Items" only stored on the actual device that did the sending be the way to go.

Re:Email capabilities (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654530)

Please don't try to make sensible posts on Slashdot, it might explode the fanboys heads in the basement.

Also, why is Slashdot always so effin' slow? You'd think you people being such hot-shit IT professionals that you could, maybe, make it run a little faster than a legless turtle?

Re:Email capabilities (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654540)

I'm not sure thats how it is set up. I can't imagine connecting an iPhone to my gmail account and having my junkmail filters not apply.

I think the reason why the iOS4 might "fail to deliver" those email capabilities is BECAUSE they are handled by the email server. Perhaps the issue is that the iPhone cannot change those settings from the device, but thats not to say the settings aren't still there. After all, any phone I've ever heard of phone just requests the headers of your inbox, and then when you choose it downloads that message. So any rules or filtering you have will still work even for your mobile devices.

If I'm wrong, for any reason, then that is SERIOUSLY f'd.

Re:Email capabilities (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654568)

I'm a hardware salesman, and I hate working with system admins with your attitude. You think you know better than I do about how I want to manage my communication? No, you don't.

I have four smartphones. One is for general use, and the other three are dedicated to major customers. I use one email account, but I want four different "views" of my email, depending on which phone I'm using. That's why I have separate rules set up on each phone, and that's why I don't want server-side rules, or other crap like that.

I bring in far more money to the company than you ever will. Call me a "F'd up sadistic moron" all you want. That doesn't change the fact that you're short-sighted and ignorant about how your users use their email and other communication methods.

Re:Email capabilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654672)

I bring in far more money to the company than you ever will.

Ahh, the salesman attitude of "I'm better than you cause I don't spend money, I make it!"

Who do you come crying to when your phone breaks?

Re:Email capabilities (1, Flamebait)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654674)

You are a moron, use 4 accounts and 1 phone. Thankfully the company I work in IT is what makes the bucks.

You're absolutely clueless, aren't you? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32655012)

Please give me the name of the company you work for, as well as the address of the location you're at. I want to make sure I never deal with them.

He probably has four separate phones because he has four separate phone numbers, and needs to be able to at least accept voicemail messages if more than one of his major clients call at the same time.

As a mere IT peon, you probably don't understand how sales work, or how salespeople perform their jobs. It's not unusual to see talented salespeople talking to two or three separate people at once, while organizing particularly large or complex sales. They actually do need to use several separate phones while they work. Your idiotic "4 accounts 1 phone" idea fails completely.

Re:You're absolutely clueless, aren't you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32655186)

Then he probably needs one smartphone plus three cell phones. Problem fixed, significant monthly savings for the company. If you are on three different phones at once, then two of the people are getting really pissed off at your company at any given time.

Re:Email capabilities (1)

xploraiswakco (703340) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654720)

actually it's still better to have the server do the work than your 4 phones, there is no reason the server can't be set up to provide the 4 different views for each phone, question is, why have all 4 phones process all your email to create the view that phone needs, when your mail server could do it faster and better.

Re:Email capabilities (3, Insightful)

WCguru42 (1268530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654748)

I have four smartphones.

Really? Why? Please tell me you don't have four hip holsters.

Yes, I did read the rest of your post. No, it still doesn't make sense.

Re:Email capabilities (1, Insightful)

binford2k (142561) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654872)

You are indeed an F'd up sadistic moron. Really. Do you carry four pair of pants with you at all times? One for general use and the other three for your major customers. Holy fuckin' shit.

Re:Email capabilities (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654992)

I'm a hardware salesman

When all you have is a hammer...

I have four smartphones.

...everything looks like a nail.

I bring in far more money to the company than you ever will.

Considering that I don't work for your company, I'd say "$0" is a pretty low bar for you to overcome.

Furthermore, even if we did work at the same company, by definition, my job is not to "bring money" into the company and everything I do would probably go right towards "expenses". On the other hand, I'd be willing to bet that my work would reduce annual costs at least on par with your generated revenue.

First thing on my list: Restrict all employees to a single company phone.

Re:Email capabilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654576)

I don't know about you, but I don't want every email that makes it past my spam filter sent to my phone, only the really important ones.

And yet, my sent emails end up in the same remote mailstore. Odd.

Re:Email capabilities (2, Informative)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654604)

If you're the user and your server isn't doing a good enough job filtering junk mail, then you'll want junk filtering in the client. And regardless of that, you may want support for configuring your junk mail options in the client, such as marking messages as junk for bayesian analysis. Same basic idea for the rest of this stuff.

Part of the problem is that email itself isn't very well designed for how most of us currently use email. It's simple, which is nice, but it's not built to address complex filtering/tagging workflows.

Re:Email capabilities (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#32655128)

You know, we have all these fancy filtering and tagging things but outside of IT, I don't think I've ever seen a single one used.

The only thing I have seen used is folders, but then the end-user almost invariably moves email into folders by hand.

Re:Email capabilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654778)

How about something simple, like a different sound per email account? Would that really be so hard? So you know when I got an email about my site being down it would alert me differently than if my grandmother sent me an email. Currently I use a combination of tagging in gmail (+911), which then forwards to my sms email address from my provider so I get a text.

Let's get it out of the way... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654380)

iPhone sucks, iOS sucks, Steve Jobs sucks.

get Android, Google will save the world.

Now if we can add something constructive to the conversation...

Junk Mail - not an issue (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654400)

Shouldn't (mass) junk be filtered at the server level (especially in an enterprise setting)? Even in personal email, I rely on my provider to do most of the heavy lifting of SPAM removal for me.

Re:Junk Mail - not an issue (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654526)

Shouldn't (mass) junk be filtered at the server level (especially in an enterprise setting)?
Even in personal email, I rely on my provider to do most of the heavy lifting of SPAM removal for me.

Agreed.

Sure, some of it is going to get through... But it shouldn't be enough that managing junk mail should be a major feature on a smartphone.

If you've got that much junk mail coming through to your phone, you need to look at how it is (or isn't) being filtered at the server.

Re:Junk Mail - not an issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654998)

SPAM

should be lower case

spam

As a former Blackberry user... (5, Interesting)

unsmashed (530825) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654406)

One thing I miss is the ability to do different notifications based on filters / profiles set up. The Blackberry can do this by flagging certain messages as a "Level 1 Notification" and then you can set normal messages to come in quietly, but Level 1 messages can vibrate, ring, whatever you configure it to do. It's great to get notified when your boss or superior email you, but let the other 200 emails a day just collect quietly.

The other feature I wish existed is when I reply to a message on my iPhone, that it shows up in Outlook as replied to (via the Exchange ActiveSync). Without it, there's sometimes confusion whether I've replied to this or not when reviewing the emails on my desktop.

Re:As a former Blackberry user... (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654950)

Not sure if this works on the iPhone, as I'm not sure what level of GMail Integration is present there, but if you happen to be using GMail, try the following:

Have the messages you don't want to bother you set to be moved to a label and immediately archived, via a filter... Gmail will then no longer notify for these messages, because it only notifies for things that actually land in the inbox. Since this works for Gtalk and Gmail notifier on the PC as well as on the Android GMail app, I'm presuming it'd work on the iPhone too.

If you don't use Gmail and/or are looking for this feature for something other than Gmail, you're probably SOL. :p

Bit surprising that there isn't a decent IMAP (it even sounds like an Apple product... iMap!) client for the iPhone that will do this by folder...

The mac (2, Insightful)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654410)

Reminds me of a Mac commercial parody from years ago:
'You know all the games for the Mac are great because you played them a PC three years ago'

The iPhone, with its quality touch screen and beautiful, lickable looks, continues to announce 'amazing new features' that have been available in Blackberrys (Blackberries?) for nearly a decade.

Re:The mac (5, Funny)

archmcd (1789532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654438)

The politically correct term is actually "berries of color."

Re:The mac (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654462)

Yes, all those touch-screen blackberries with the blackberry app store a decade ago were great. You must have installed the first talk-out-of-your ass app.

Re:The mac (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654616)

Oh please...those are fluff. Soft keyboards are silly for enterprise business users who are not concerned with 'looking cool'. You can't shove a touchscreen phone in your back pocket and start working; you need a 'screen protector' to keep it pristine or it stops working. And an app store selling 80 fart apps and other junk? RIM is for big-boy workers who have no time for such frivolity. Blackberry had many, many auxiliary applications for many years. They could be pushed (and managed) from the BES.

Re:The mac (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654712)

My droid needs no lame protector, get a phone with a gorilla glass screen and STFU!
I also have both keyboard and touch screen. RIM man in the middles all your mail, plus whenever BES has an issue your mail stop working.

Re:The mac (1)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654914)

False. You don't need a screen protector. And assuming your are even right in your fart apps count, 80 our of 200.000 is a pretty small percentage. If you prefer RIM then use it, but to say Apple's UI is frivolity is utter stupidity. Let's hope you're not in a management position because you don't understand a damned thing about the world around you.

Re:The mac (3, Insightful)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654856)

Congratulations on missing the point that Apple bring lashings of user experience (shiny looks, one of the first workable mobile touch-screen interfaces, an easy to use app store) but that's often at the cost of basic functionality which other devices have offered as standard for years. We can all agree that improvements to the UI are important, but for some people the underlying functionality is more important and that's where Apple are slow to deliver, and often come across as disingenuous when they do (for instance, you'd be forgiven, having read the mainstream media the last few days, for thinking they invented multi-tasking, when not long ago they were busy explaining why it was such a bad idea for mobile devices - they'd get far more good will by just saying, "we were wrong, we've listened to your requests and here's your multi-tasking").

Re:The mac (1)

MadCow42 (243108) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654476)

>> The iPhone, with its quality touch screen and beautiful, lickable looks, continues to announce 'amazing new features' that have been available in Blackberrys (Blackberries?) for nearly a decade.

There's a difference in philosophy here... Apple may be slow with some things like that, but when they do release it, they do it DAMN well (in most cases... at least). Quality and user experience rank much higher for them than simple feature list comparisons - and that's the single reason they have a highly profitable, niche business.

MadCow.

Re:The mac (4, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654910)

Yeah, I got kind of sold on the "it's even better than the iPhone" Android hype and got myself an HTC Incredible. Now obviously this is a matter of personal needs and personal preference, but I now consider that purchase to be a mistake.

For one thing, and this is only the most blatant problem, the damned thing crashes all the time. It's not too bad, but I feel it vibrate in my pocket, and when I check the phone, it's rebooting. But all in all, it's a pretty minor problem.

The bigger problem, though more subtle, is that the UI design is kind of a mess. I don't mean "the GUI is not pretty", but that the user interaction is unclear. For example, calendar events pop up in the notification area, but if you clear that notification, you have not dismissed it; it will pop up again in a couple minutes. Or there's a "favorites" widget for your favorite contacts that notifies you when those contacts' Facebook status has been updated, but if you press on that notification, it immediately calls that contact.

More generally, a lot of the user interaction is hidden in context menus and under the menu button. It's sometimes unclear what hitting a given button will actually do. I feel like I'm constantly jumping through hoops to get the damned thing to do what I want.

To my mind, it doesn't matter "who did it first". The question is, right now, what's the best phone you can buy. As far as I'm concerned, the iPhone is it.

Re:The mac (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 4 years ago | (#32655044)

Not to diminish your experiences, but I've never felt the UI on my Droid was lacking. Whatever I need to do is in a place I'd expect to find it, I just go by intuition and it works.

I believe you when you say it doesn't work for you, of course. I just wanted to underscore your point, that it is a matter of personal preference.

Re:The mac (1)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 4 years ago | (#32655008)

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Re:The mac (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654660)

A Blackberry started as a business smartphone and has slowly added features to be more consumer friendly. Apple is coming from the other direction. It is a consumer smartphone first with some business features added later. Both phones continue to be strong in their initial markets but is somewhat lacking in other markets.

Re:The mac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654708)

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7778857744431149858

Re:The mac (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654852)

Blackberrys (Blackberries?)

Crackberries. "Marion" for short.

Re:The mac (4, Insightful)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 4 years ago | (#32655024)

Who gives a fuck who did it first. The iPhone does it now, that's all that matters. You can say, "But... but my phone did it FIRST!" all you want, and nobody else is going to care.

Re:The mac (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32655094)

Blackberrys (Blackberries?)

Corporate/Product words fall outside of normal English rules. You will often have words created which include letters from other alphabets, intentional misspellings, even numbers. An easy way to break it down is to treat trademarked names as adjectives attached to common nouns.

Pontiac Cars instead of Pontiacs.
Blackberry Phones instead of blackberries.

In a way, it provides a very crude metric for determining when these words fall into the vernacular. When people begin to treat the words as common nouns on their own (by not treating them as adjectives), it's a good sign that the brand is losing it's protection.

Q-tips
Bandaids
iPods

All pluralized and thus become a category, rather than an individual product description.

A few related stories (2, Informative)

guanxi (216397) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654412)

Re:A few related stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654584)

You insensitive clod! I didn't RTFAs and now you expect me to read FOUR more articles????

And no dialing location fields of meetings... (1, Informative)

MojoRilla (591502) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654416)

And a huge fail, at least for many business folks, is the lack of being able to dial phone numbers that are sent in the location field of meetings. According to Apple support, the world is supposed to all start sending conference bridge numbers in the body of meetings. Good luck with that, Apple.

trolling reply is trolling. (1)

DJCouchyCouch (622482) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654482)

A missing detail is a "huge fail"? Uh oh, someone's lost their sense of scale meter!

Re:trolling reply is trolling. (2, Informative)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654594)

A missing detail is a "huge fail"? Uh oh, someone's lost their sense of scale meter!

I dunno. Seems to me that a smartphone should let you dial pretty much anything that looks like a phone number from pretty much anywhere. It's just text, right? Add some ability to select it and automatically copy/paste the digits into the dialing interface. Doesn't seem that hard to me.

The alternative is to make people manually copy & paste those digits into the dialing interface, or write them out and dial them in manually - both of which seem more awkward than they should be.

Especially when it is the location field of a meeting. I'll frequently schedule conference calls on my calendar, and put the phone number in the location field.

Re:And no dialing location fields of meetings... (1)

momerath2003 (606823) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654624)

Perhaps you mean a huge failure?

Re:And no dialing location fields of meetings... (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654690)

You could also blame MS for making the bridge field really really really hard to find. I don't see why Apple can't just dial whatever is in the location field though.

Re:And no dialing location fields of meetings... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654880)

Fail is a verb, not a noun.

Re:And no dialing location fields of meetings... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654970)

And a huge fail, at least for many business folks

Well, Apple isn't really pursuing the business folks. They're a secondary market to Apple -- they sell tons of stuff without worrying about what Corporate America needs.

It's not all about meetings and spreadsheets. Heck, even their advertising makes that fairly clear.

Does not matter to a properly setup enterprise. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654418)

Junk mail filtering is done on the server level. Who wants their phone selecting and deciding what is junk.

WTF? Apps need to be re-written for multi-tasking? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654420)

This is fucking retarded. Somebody tell them how to write a pre-emptive task scheduler. Welcome to Windows 3.1

Cooperative multitasking is a relic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654772)

How is his comment "flamebait"? He's absolutely correct. Cooperative multitasking is a relic from the 1980s and earlier. There's absolutely no reason to resort to that approach these days. Absolutely none.

Re:Cooperative multitasking is a relic. (1)

timster (32400) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654892)

Dunno about flamebait, but it sure is dumb. iOS 4's multitasking uses a pre-emptive scheduler (as it has since iPhone OS 1.0).

Talking about cooperative multitasking this way makes it pretty clear that you don't know what it means.

Re:Cooperative multitasking is a relic. (1)

wed128 (722152) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654968)

Actually cooperative multitasking still has it's niche, and is still used by plenty of modern equipment; It is used heavily by DSPs and deeply embedded real time systems.

although, something like the iPhone probably should jettison it; it's treading dangerously close to a general-purpose computer, and it's environment isn't as tightly controlled as the real-time systems i mentioned earlier.

a lot of the features are already on the server (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654424)

message rules are on the exchange server. junk mail is handled by the SMTP gateway.
BES does have an advantage since they have years of development lead time, but Apple/MS are catching up fairly fast. and the Apple/MS activesync solution is a lot cheaper and no server required. we've had a BES server for years and rarely used most of the management features. doesn't mean people don't use them, but a lot of organizations don't care to lock down people's cell phones. you can also write web apps with no itunes or any other deployment. last week i used my iphone to help troubleshoot a SQL issue.

the iphone web browser is better than blackberry. with HP iLO chips i can use my iphone to push the power button on a server remotely or get console access. can't do it on the stock blackberry browser.

the universal inbox is not as good as on my blackberry, but multiple exchange accounts is nice. i can easily add the accounts that hold the alert emails instead of relying on outlook rules in that mailbox to forward me the right emails.

the multitasking is also pretty good. listening to pandora uses about the same amount of battery as the ipod app.

Email design decisions (2, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654444)

including zipped attachment management, junk mail filtering, message rules, and message flagging.

I am surprised that all these capability are needed for a mobile client. In particular, i would think corporate would want to junk email filtering at the server, otherwise there would be risk that an individual user might overfilter.

Likewise zipped attachments are something that is used for desktop, but I don't know why anyone would use them on a mobile device, but then I don't see why i get memos in MS Word format instead of PDF. Sometimes the feature bloat drives the bad habits. I suppose that on some mobile devices application installation might happen through email.

I would also like to see message rule and flagging pushed back to the server. I might be using one of four machines to look at mail. Everything is stored on the server. Keeping the rules consistant on all machines can be a pain. It would be much better to be able to set up one server to check mail, then reroute, then all the other machines feed off that. When I used to one machines going all the time at home, this more or less happened.

In any case many of these complaints seem more about wanting to do things the old fashion way rather than genuine functionality. It is like complaining that Python does not have a traditional for...next loop. Get over it.

Unzipping actually would be nice (4, Insightful)

hellfire (86129) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654766)

Junk mail, rules, and filtering absolutely should happen at the server level if you are using Exchange or IMAP, and any business still using POP for email is just shooting themselves in the foot for not understanding their tech better.

However, unzipping would be kind of nice. People send attachments to each other all the time, and email servers have attachment limits. New iPhone users will also have limited data bandwidth. It would be nice if someone could send me that file zipped to 20-50% so I could save time. It takes less time to download files than it does to unzip them and in advanced situations with larger files every little bit helps. Granted, you may be correct in that there are better solutions than trying to email me a 250 MB spreadsheet on a device that probably can't display it in a sophisticated manner.

Re:Email design decisions (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654926)

Zip attachments are more or less the norm for sending out documents, slideshows, etc. There is zero reason to not be able to utilize these attachments on a mobile device.

Re:Email design decisions (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#32655144)

I use zip files all the time on my phone, they're useful for all kinds of reasons, such as to get around email servers aggresively blocking things like .js files, or when someone needs to preserve a directory hierarchy in a bunch of emailed files (i.e. they need me to debug some web code). Some devices might put all downloads into one directory, in which case if someone's emailing me fifty icons to approve, I'd rather they sent them as a zip that I can easily locate and move to my desired directory than have me wade through my entire downloads directory looking for the contents of the email.

I won't always have a PC to hand so it's nice to be able to handle those things from my phone (even if it's not always the first choice in terms of usability for doing so). Your logic also seems a bit circular - you're saying people asking for this functionality are just living in the past, at the same time you say you can't imagine anyone asking for this functionality - just because you can't envisage a use-case, doesn't mean nobody else can (for me this is far more useful than the ability to make video calls from my phone, for instance, but I recognise that some people might want to be able to do that, as redundant as it might seem in the digital communication age).

Junk mail filtering (1)

MadCow42 (243108) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654446)

The lack of filtering on mail is my biggest complaint (iPhone and iPad too)... it makes using mail frustrating to say the least. I really don't understand how difficult that would be!!!

Re:Junk mail filtering (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654730)

Why not have your network operator do that?

Multitasking as defined by Apple (2, Insightful)

not already in use (972294) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654506)

Why do we accept Apple's glorified Suspend/Resume functionality as "multitasking?" Can my app be performing tasks in the background while I'm using another application? No? Well that's not multitasking then, is it?

Re:Multitasking as defined by Apple (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654662)

Agreed. There is a huge difference. On an Android device, I can ssh into a router or other server with an Internet exposed SSH port via ConnectBot, forward ports, etc., and then access my internal network intranet resources, VNC, etc.

Without true multitasking, I cannot do this on an iPhone.

iOS 4 is supposed to fix is this, is it not? Or did miss something?

Re:Multitasking as defined by Apple (1)

Timmmm (636430) | more than 4 years ago | (#32655022)

Actually iOS multitasking works in exactly the same way as Android (i.e. when you switch away from an app its state is saved, and then it may be killed at any point).

The difference is that Android allows arbitrary 'Services' to run as well that aren't killed. Your app has to use these if you want 'true multitasking'. Apple seems to allow something like this, but with some kind of restrictions. I have no idea how they are enforced though.

Re:Multitasking as defined by Apple (4, Informative)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654716)

Can my app be performing tasks in the background while I'm using another application?

Yes. Apple has made it so that your entire application won't continue to run in the background, but that you can still have your application "performing tasks" (so long as it fits within the supported background "tasks").

From what I understand, Android does something similar. It's not crazy. It actually makes a whole hell of a lot of sense. If I'm reading an ebook, for example, I don't need to have my iPhone's system resources taken up trying to display a particular page that won't be displayed anyway because it's in the background. On a device with limited resources, it's better to suspend that whole application to free up resources.

So similarly with a browser, you don't need your browser actually trying to display web pages that aren't being displayed. All you need to do is enable background downloading. Downloading is pretty much the only thing that you actually want a browser to do in the background. Pretty much the only thing you want Skype to do in the background is receive calls. Pretty much the only thing you want Pandora to do in the background is download streaming audio and output it to the headphones-- you don't need Pandora to try to render album art that won't be displayed.

Re:Multitasking as defined by Apple (1)

DeadboltX (751907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654780)

The problem lies wherein you want an app to do something in the background, and Apple doesn't.

Re:Multitasking as defined by Apple (3, Interesting)

Late Adopter (1492849) | more than 4 years ago | (#32655028)

The problem lies wherein you want an API to do something, and it doesn't.

FTFY. This isn't in any way a new problem. Witness Hildon/Maemo, and Android. They all have approaches for handling multiple user-interfacing applications and how they interact with power management. Apple has chosen an approach, and it looks good enough for 99% of use cases. Everyone who is still complaining at this point will continue to do so until they get real preemptive multithreading, which is not necessarily wise to allow for arbitrary apps on a mobile platform.

Even more generally than all that: An API does something, but you want it to do something else? Name me an API that *doesn't* have that problem. Combating feature creep and having a consistent and sensible development paradigm is really *hard*, and it looks like Apple is serious about it.

Re:Multitasking as defined by Apple (4, Informative)

shawnce (146129) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654770)

If your app plays audio (for whatever reason) it WILL run in the background. (audio background mode)

If your VoIP app needs to maintain a network connection with a backend system so it can be told of incoming calls it WILL run in the background but only when network traffic is incoming or at a time you designate so you can keep your network connection alive. (voip background mode)

If your app needs to track your location it WILL run in the background with the level of location accuracy you designate. (location background mode)

(you can combine any combination of the above modes)

If your app needs to finish an active task, one that is not easily paused, it WILL run in the background.

If your application needs to do things at predetermined time you can schedule it and your app WILL run in the background.

http://developer.apple.com/iphone/library/documentation/iPhone/Conceptual/iPhoneOSProgrammingGuide/BackgroundExecution/BackgroundExecution.html [apple.com]

Re:Multitasking as defined by Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654840)

Nothing new here. Just remember system 7, for instance. That was about 20 years ago, and at the time Apple already boasted its multitasking abilities, as a commercial argument against Windows. The truth was, it was "cooperative" multitasking, which meant that any application not designed for, or willing to, "cooperate", halted everything else until it had quit... or crashed, bringing the whole system down with it. Needless to say, at the very same time HP-UX workstations ran on very similar hardware, with X11 and all.
This whole fake multitasking thing is nothing but deliberate crippling from Apple. As usual. And as usual, Apple's survival and prosperity rely on their customers' technical ignorance.

Quality Control Issues (1)

organgtool (966989) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654516)

I've been reading message board forums that claim the following bugs:
  • Installer ignores the user request to update without a restore - this can mean it takes up to several hours to apply the update while it syncs all of your files. I'm not sure if the phone is accessible while the restore is happening
  • MMS feature no longer allows attaching pictures or video to text messages for some users
  • Landscape mode doesn't work for some users in the iPod app - even with the screen orientation locking option turned off

Granted that last issue wouldn't really affect business use, but in general the quality control in many Apple products has gone to hell in the past few years. In all fairness, software companies across the board seem to be releasing utter crap for each major release and then issue patches to fix all of the issues. I wonder if Apple had to move employees from internal software testing to external software testing for the App store. In any event, I think most businesses will stick with BlackBerry, if for no other reason than the physical keyboard.

multitasking is a lie (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654520)

Apple calls it 'Multitasking done right'.

To anyone who's done multitasking, background threading, cron jobs and such, it's not even close. Only 1 app-type gets anything resembling multitasking. It reminds me of a hacked up and crippled PalmOS paradigm. If you're an iOS developer, you'll know what I'm talking about, read the docs, Apple thinks you're a typical VB hacker ready to abuse the system, i.e. they don't trust you to be a good programmer, that's the tone of the API docs--seriously. If you're not a dev, didn't sign the NDA, well, you're considered sheep, so believe the marketing and take the blue pill. Otherwise, you'll actually need to ante up the $99/$299 to take the red pill.

Re:multitasking is a lie (2, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32655078)

"they don't trust you to be a good programmer"

Have you seen the stuff in the app store? They're not wrong.

bash (1, Flamebait)

djfuq (1151563) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654552)

It sounds like someone wants to bash apple because they cant wait a month for some new features to be implemented...

On one hand android may be awesome and customizable, but on the other hand it ends up getting too customizable. I want my phone to be simple to use, and UI to be basic and easy as possible.

Lets imagine someone figures out how to port android to the iphone. How many people do you suppose would really switch to it after trying it out? VS How many people would switch back to the iphone os after a short time? How long would they have tried it?

Re:bash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654678)

A lot. None. Long enough.

Hope you continue to enjoy the safety of your tracking device you are renting from Apple.

This multitasking is vaporware, clearly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654598)

Unfortunately not many folks can talk about the truth of multitasking, it's under NDA.

Messaging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654626)

Still takes 10-15 seconds to open the text messaging program. Kudos mac.

Re:Messaging (1)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 4 years ago | (#32655056)

It does not.

Message rules (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654636)

Message rules belong on the server not in the client. The same goes for filtering of junkmail. Why in the world have a server then push all the work on the client?

Re:Message rules (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654776)

As long as you can filter on arbitrary header substrings then it's reasonable to offload all of that to the mailhost, which can also run a webserver exclusively for the manipulation of lists (or that can, of course, be separated.) Most filter solutions (including Spamassassin, of course) will tweak headers with spam scores so that the users can file them on the client end.

Re:Message rules (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654854)

No matter what you filter on, on a well designed system you can have the mailhost handle that.

No mention of Data Protection? (4, Informative)

bds1986 (1268378) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654758)

I'm kind of surprised the article didn't make any mention of iOS 4's improved data protection methods:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4175 [apple.com]

In short, the previously flawed encryption method of the 3GS is improved by encrypting the hardware encryption keys with your passcode. Additionally, passcodes can now be alphanumeric and longer than 4 characters.

If you're using a 3GS and have upgraded to 4.0, you'll need to wipe and restore the phone to take advantage of this (data protection, not the passcode), the link above has details.

Lack of in house applications? (0)

Kenja (541830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654882)

Last I checked, building custom (internal) applications for the iPhone is still a major PITA due to the restrictive development license and app distribution system.

Re:Lack of in house applications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32655160)

Actually, you can get an enterprise developer license that allows you to do just that.

Develop and push your own custom apps to your people without the restrictions of the apple store.

Poor Apple (5, Funny)

sootman (158191) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654902)

They've only sold a few tens of millions of those things so far, and their new model took five whole hours to sell 600k units to regular customers, sight unseen. They'd better get their act together and start reaching out to the enterprise or that thing's gonna tank and take them with it.

Re:Poor Apple (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654958)

As I'm sure you know, quantity does not equate to quality. McDonnalds does not make the best cheese burger, despite their high sales figures. They do however offer things that many people want, but this should not be a reason to not seek other things that they dont offer.

Background image (0)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654908)

Apparently you can now select a background image. And by “can”, apparently I mean “must”... he suggests creating a “black or very dark monochrome image on your computer” and uploading it to the phone so that you can have “no” background image. An ugly hack but it does work I guess.

BES Security (1)

jamesyouwish (1738816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32655112)

I just wish they would focus on security or let us know what they have done to make it more secure. I hear about API's and third party software. What types of encryption is available? What are the chips used to secure? Everyone in my office wants a iPhone but I do not feel as secure as with BES.

Apple invents multitasking! All Hail the Emperor! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32655170)

..probably now trying to figure out how to charge you for it twice.

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