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What iOS 4 Does (and Doesn't Do) For Business 253

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the step-one-is-downloading-it dept.
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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What iOS 4 Does (and Doesn't Do) For Business

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  • Email capabilities (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @12:09PM (#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.

  • The mac (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Itninja (937614) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @12:12PM (#32654410) Homepage
    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.
  • by fermion (181285) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @12:15PM (#32654444) Homepage Journal
    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 loop. Get over it.

  • Re:The mac (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @12:17PM (#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.

  • by not already in use (972294) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @12:20PM (#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?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @12:23PM (#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:The mac (Score:5, Insightful)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @12:32PM (#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.
  • by WCguru42 (1268530) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @12:38PM (#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.

  • by hellfire (86129) <deviladv AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @12:40PM (#32654766) Homepage

    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:The mac (Score:4, Insightful)

    by delinear (991444) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @12:46PM (#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").
  • by binford2k (142561) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @12:47PM (#32654872) Homepage Journal

    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:The mac (Score:5, Insightful)

    by s73v3r (963317) <`s73v3r' `at' `'> on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @01:00PM (#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.
  • by Kenja (541830) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @01:05PM (#32655078)
    "they don't trust you to be a good programmer"

    Have you seen the stuff in the app store? They're not wrong.
  • by dhobbit (152517) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @01:15PM (#32655216)
    It is "Multitasking done right" on a mobile platform. Apps that need to run in the background can provided they use a provided system service, audio, VoIP, launchd. The most important issue here is battery life and the second is memory which lead directly to the third which is performance. Developers always develop in a vacuum they didn't know what else will be running on the end users device and they have to assume that their app is the most important. Apple is just reenforcing that assumption If they want to play nice then they have to add a bunch of hacks and bloat in order to know when they should scale back CPU and memory usage to allow foreground apps to take over. This assumes a much more competent developer a lot more code. Apple is provided a shortcut, here's an API that can do all this work for you so you can solve the problem they're coding for not spend days writing glue and house keeping code. So to that end Apple provides a set of Legos for the devs to play with, the dev is not expected to build their own interlocking bricks and in actively discourage from doing so.
  • by drumcat (1659893) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @01:27PM (#32655356)
    Still fails to deliver outdated 1990s email paradigms that only the stodgiest of business users still care about. Flags? Really? If flags are that big a deal, use Gmail via MobileSafari. And show me one phone that junk filters. Damn troll article. How did this actually get posted?
  • Re:The mac (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ryvar (122400) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @01:27PM (#32655366) Homepage

    Honestly what Apple have done isn't so much listening to developer's requests as it is fulfilling those requests to the greatest extent possible *without compromising user experience*.

    Not compromising user experience, even potentially, appears to be their guiding principle and it's served them well. Slashdot will never love Apple because they aren't the target market. I, like a lot of people who swear by the iPhone - actively want appliance computing when it comes to a smart phone. I actively want the walled gardens of the XBox 360, PS3, Appstore, Wii, and even Steam, because these things substantially reduce malware and/or cheaters. I understand that it is fundamental to the basic principals of a Turing machine that they can never eliminate these things (ie virtual machines, etc.), merely reduce to a level unlikely to affect me. But in practice that's all I need, much like how in practice I only *need* 256-bit TLS for securing online purchases.

    The antagonism seen towards Apple on Slashdot is due to the fact that it's an explosively growing market segment that isn't targeted for the core Slashdot demographic. It implies that the world is moving on from them, and nobody likes to hear that.


  • by Polo (30659) * on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @01:29PM (#32655388) Homepage

    I agree.

    And Calendar appointments too. The default alarm is short, doesn't repeat and completely ineffective.

    Some appointments are life-threatening if you miss them: Pick up the kids, tax audit, anniversary...

  • by nine-times (778537) <> on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @01:43PM (#32655596) Homepage

    I've seen plenty of people use Outlook's "Rules", even some relatively non-technical people. One of the problems there is that mail servers (excepting Exchange) don't usually have good server-side filtering along with client-side configuration of that filtering.

    I don't bother setting up client-side filtering on my personal email account because it only works if that client, and I don't always check my email from the same client.

    I don't bother tagging my email because it's not something that's handled consistently and most of the time it's client-side only. So if I spend lots of time tagging my email and using those tags, and then I move to another client, those tags are all missing. Worse: if I delete my client's settings without backing up the tagging information, all that information simply goes away. Exchange allows categories (basically tags) to be stored on the server-side, but they're inaccessible by mail clients other than Outlook.

    Also, I can't send tags. Like if I'm sending an email to my boss and I tag it as "budget", he doesn't get that tag when he receives that email. When he replies, the reply isn't tagged either. It's just not a very well thought out system.

  • Re:The mac (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mr_matticus (928346) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @01:50PM (#32655740)

    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

    No, you wouldn't be forgiven. Apple did not invent multitasking, and nobody with a brain or a clue says that they did. They also never claimed that it was a bad idea for mobile devices. They said the current implementations were bad for mobile devices in their opinion, and historically there has been support for those claims.

    As is evident from copy/paste, multitasking, and several other features, Apple takes the time to get the implementation right and make the features more accessible to a wider audience, and what they trumpet as new isn't the feature, but their take on it. Jobs has said about several such developments, "we're not the first, but we're the first to get it right" or something to that effect. There is room to disagree with that development approach or whether Apple's method really is better for any given personal preference, but the only thing disingenuous about it are people who fail to identify context for the sake of making a snide remark.

  • by Em Ellel (523581) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @01:51PM (#32655750)

    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.

    That would be silly, there is no need for separate pants for each major customer.

    But you do need a separate belt for each belt-clip on each phone... so each belt would need a separate pants.... oh, crap, I guess he does need separate pants ;-)


  • by Em Ellel (523581) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @01:55PM (#32655818)

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

    "haha, Its funny cuz its true"

  • by afidel (530433) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @02:59PM (#32656684)
    Hahaha, sounds like someone who hasn't grasped the concept of a smartphone. I can literally do everything I can do on a laptop on my phone just slightly slower. That's why despite bringing my laptop on my last trip out of town it was only used to watch movies because everything else was taken care of from my phone. I wouldn't have even brought the laptop except I was on call last week and needed to be able to respond at 100% efficiency if there had been an outage. My CEO and chairman of the board both have laptops that are almost never with them, they do all their work away from the office on their Blackberry. It's why email and BES are our highest SLA'd items in the entire infrastructure, email downtime gets more notice than an outage in our ERP system (not that either are common).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @04:57PM (#32658196)

    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.

    Oh please. At the time of System 7's debut, cooperative multitasking was competitive with Windows (which, IIRC, also used cooperative for GUI apps at that point in time). And it was hardly deliberate crippling. If you'd ever bothered to inform yourself about the technical details, you'd know that the use of cooperative in 'classic' MacOS was driven by a number of unfortunate-in-retrospect Macintosh System design decisions dating back to the early 80s. I say 'in retrospect' because those decisions were a consequence of the pressure to ship a fairly sophisticated GUI on a computer which had just 128K RAM and 64K ROM, while needing to leave a significant amount of RAM free for applications. The design compromises forced by these resource limits later got Apple into a nasty backwards-compatibility trap which made it essentially impossible to transition to a preemptive, memory protected environment without breaking every Mac app in the wild.

    (They never did solve that trap either, despite years of trying and failing. In the end they could only move forward by leaving legacy binaries behind.)

    And as usual, Apple's survival and prosperity rely on their customers' technical ignorance.

    Spoken like a typical slashbot. Yes, even though the iPhone kernel is the same as the MacOS X kernel and thus obviously supports any form of multitasking you could desire, Apple didn't allow starting more than one app at a time. But they had good reasons to do so, and they have equally good reasons to be careful about how they allow it now. Apple's customers like the end result: a smartphone where they never have to think about silly geeky things like adjusting their multitasking habits to conserve battery life. One man's "reliance on customers' technical ignorance" is another man's "sensible design for people who sensibly don't want to become tech experts just to use a phone".

    It's not just Apple, either. Despite the hype, there isn't truly unrestricted multitasking in Android either. But noooo, you've latched onto the evil Apple hurting their customers meme, and mere facts and logic will not get in the way!

  • by Brannon (221550) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @05:01PM (#32658232)

    ...that Apple actually knows what they are doing, considering that they literally cannot manufacture iDevices fast enough for people who are willing to buy them sight unseen.

"Our reruns are better than theirs." -- Nick at Nite