The new iPhone will be available next week, including support for Microsoft Exchange and Windows Mobile/ActiveSync. That means businesspeople in companies run by Small Business Server 2003 should be able to connect to their Outlook email, calendar and contacts over the air, continuously updating both directions. Well, we’ll see – time will tell whether there are glitches or unexpected shortcomings. (I’ve seen one early unconfirmed report that using Exchange over the air sucks the battery dry in short order.)
David Pogue’s column in the New York Times today mentions one thing that I had misunderstood. Apparently the iPhone 2.0 software will also be rolled out to current iPhone owners, enabling them to do exactly the same things.
That means all iPhone owners will have access to the new applications being developed on the iPhone 2.0 platform – there will be thousands of them, a rich new area for blogs to write about endlessly. You might see some that look tempting:
“One coming program, called iCall, will give you free phone calls when you’re in a Wi-Fi hot spot. Another, called G-Park, exploits G.P.S. to help you find where you parked. Yet another, Urbanspoon, is “a cross between a magic eight ball and a slot machine:” you shake the phone, and it randomly displays the name of a good restaurant nearby, using the iPhone’s G.P.S. and motion sensor.
“You can also expect to see a time and expense tracker, home-automation remote control, voice recorder, Etch-a-Sketch, a recipe box, tip calculator, currency converter, e-book reader and so on.
“Above all, the iPhone is about to become a dazzling hand-held game machine. The games revealed so far feature smooth 3-D graphics and tilt control; in one driving simulator, you turn the iPhone itself like a steering wheel, and your 3-D car on the screen banks accordingly. Other games exploit the multitouch screen, so you and a buddy can sit at opposite ends of the screen and fire at each other.”
I’m a bit skeptical because I’m dull and unimaginative. There are hundreds of gadgets that can be added to Vista’s sidebar, but I kinda turned off the sidebar because they weren’t all that interesting. There are thousands and thousands of applications for Windows Mobile devices but once my phone started syncing reliably with Outlook, I was pretty much done with twiddling with it.
Interesting stuff. Just remember, the iPhone is an expensive thing to have in your pocket and there’s no way around its Achilles heel.
Oh, and I finally found the map showing the Sonoma County coverage of AT&T’s higher speed 3G network.
If you’re outside the shaded area, data speeds will continue to be limited by AT&T’s slower EDGE network, roughly the same as having web pages delivered to you by a glacier.