Software companies are rushing to supply iPhone users with the functionality that Apple forgot to include. Undaunted by their inability to install software on the handset they have adopted a variety of approaches to making their software work without a client on the device. Take Synchronica, for example. The company's MS …
> the iPhone may yet find its way into corporate hands - if there are any left.
What, iPhones or corporate hands?
Exchange OWA WebDAV access all over again
Writing such gateway software in any language with decent WebDAV libraries is a piece of cake. It is surprising how few implementations are out there using this functionality.
"The iPhone can't support proper pushed email"
What? It doesn't support IMAP IDLE? And they promised "Push IMAP" support...
Except in Australia
"it seems unlikely that anyone will launch an iPhone [plan] without unlimited data"
... except in Australia, where you should expect to pay in dollars per KILObyte. Mobile data providers here charge like the world has a finite and non-refilling pool of packets so each one you send is the use of some precious resource. It's amazing.
They offer slightly saner per-KB prices if you agree to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars per month to buy fixed data allowances, but even then the prices are appalling.
It's remotely possible that a smartphone that's built around data services, like the iPhone, might shake the market up a bit. But I doubt it. Don't be surprised if iPhone users here have to pay hundreds of dollars a month to get basic web browsing and mail.
WebDAV vs Screenscraping
Synchronica Mobile Gateway does not use screen scraping, but uses the WebDAV protocol to connect to Microsoft Exchange, just like Outlook Web Access (OWA). OWA is basically a large Java Script executing in Internet Explorer which uses WebDAV to read and write data from and to Exchange. If OWA is enabled, so is WebDAV. Synchronica's Mobile Gateway to Exchange behaves like OWA - it uses the same WebDAV protocol.
I thought that push email was the solution to "How can I get my email to my phone with minimum latency and without having to pay through the nose to constantly poll my mail server?"
Now, if you have an 'unlimited' data plan, does that problem still exist? And, if not, does the lack of push email functionality really matter that much? The last para seems to suggest that the answer is no.
Not defending the iPhone (not particularly impressive imho) but the article suggests that push email is an important (missing) function whereas, for the user, it is simply about message latency.