Is The iPhone Boom A Business Boon?

We all know how the iPhone frenzy has grabbed popular imagination since it was first announced in Oct 2007. With its cool feature set, slick appearance, powerful computing capabilities, beautiful display and intuitive touch navigation, this poster boy of the mobile generation has captured the imagination of gizmo freaks and tech phobics alike. To get some measure of iPhone’s success, one only needs refer to Tim Cook’s (Apple’s COO) recent statement at a conference – he said that the company had “really good confidence” the company would hit 10 million iPhones sold by the end of 2008.

According to a research from IDC, 70 percent of those polled who own, or plan to purchase an iPhone in the next year, consider it to be for both personal and business use.

Considering the vast proliferation of iPhones in such a short span, it is natural that all those who own a iPhone would want to extend its use to business as well. And it is no joy carrying around a Blackberry and iPhone in either pocket. All that does is to exert extra downward pressure on the belt. It is no wonder then, that iPhone’s usability in a business context is a raging debate nowadays. That is still a secondary question, because the fact remains that present and future end users of iPhone see is as something they want to use for business.

The Bad News

Unfortunately for corporates, iPhone was created mainly for the meatier consumer market, and never really meant to be a business tool.

What Obstructs “iPhone for Business”
It’s mainly a PIM
Third party applications not supported
Lack of Exchange Support

Mainly a PIM – iPhone mainly has PIM (personal information manager) capabilities (email, contacts, calendars, calendars, notes) and not meant to be used for team collaboration, which requires the ability to share and work together on information.Sorry Third Party Developers – iPhone runs on a custom built operating system called the “iPhone OS”, and at this point does not allow third party applications to be built & installed on this native OS. Users are restricted to applications pre-built into the system (mail, SMS, calendar, photos, etc). This meant no special business centric applications could be created to make use of iPhone’s computing & display capabilities and internet-ability.

No Exchange Support – The gravest omission was a lack of support for MS Exchange, which meant that users could not view even the most most elementary business information – business mail, contacts, tasks, and calendars, on their iPhones, what to speak of advanced collaboration. The only way to achieve this was complicated and unreliable workarounds.

The Good News

iPhone’s Business Friendly Features
Rich Safari Browser
Web 2.0 Applications Allowed
Internet Friendly
Recent Apple Announcements

Hurray for Web 2.0 – The good news is that they allowed a small window, through which an elephant could be pushed. Soon after its launch, Apple announced that it would allow third party web applications supporting web 2.0 standards, to run on iPhone though its rich Safari browser. This effectively meant that iPhone could be part of the web 2.0 revolution, and access all the rich applications therein.

The Safari Browser – iPhones web browser Safari, is a full web browser with the works. It is light years ahead of the custom made web browsers of traditional corporate handhelds like Palm’s Blazer browser, Blackberry browser, etc. It is not just comparable to a desktop browser, but is a desktop browser. This allows iPhone to ride high on the current web 2.0 wave, rather than just being a bystander.

According to AT&T and Google, iPhone generated 50 times more search requests than any other mobile handset.

Internet-ability- iPhone allows internet access through wi-fi or wide area EDGE networks. One important prerequisite for a mobile to be an effective remote collaboration tool is the willingness and comfort level of users to use the device for web access. With no little thanks to the large display & the safari browser, the iPhone has been a huge success as a device for web access. The iPhone increased the average wireless data usage as much as 30 times higher than on other phones.

Apple finally Awakens from its Slumber – Only lately has Apple has woken up to the previously ignored aspect of business usage. This was largely caused by the hue and cry raised by the media and users over its frustrating lack of business friendliness. Even as I write, there is news of iPhone finally offering Exchange support, and an iPhone SDK (software development kit) which will allow programmers to develop applications specifically to be installed on the iPhone.

But these new developments are not just in their infancy, but even foetal stage. It will be some time before these new applications find their feet, an truly provide trouble free functionality to businesses.Exchange support at this time is issue riddled and works only for companies that support Exchange 2007 or Direct Push on Exchange 2003. Moreover, this and the launch of installed applications for iPhone wont take place until a firmware update slated for June 2008.

Webapps to the Rescue : HyperOffice as a case in study

Amongst the first companies to recognise the opportunity presented by iPhone for rich business applications was HyperOffice. Already well experienced in the web based business collaboration domain, they developed HyperOffice for iPhone, an iPhone specific version of their flagship product, HyperOffice.

This allowed business users to use almost the entire feature set HyperOffice right from their iPhones. Rather than an isolated personal information manager, HyperOffice allowed iPhone to be used as a dynamic collaboration tool through which users could access the company intranet, share contacts and calendars, plan projects, share and edit documents, schedule meetings, & many other things.

They also realised early on that a major pain point for users looking to use iPhone for business was a lack of Exchange support. HyperOffice allows users to get past this hurdle easily by acting as a bridge between Exchange and iPhone. It allows users to receive information directly from Exchange, or access Outlook information (mail, contacts, calendars, tasks) right on iPhone, with or without Exchange. No matter where users access mail and other information – Outlook, iPhone’s email client or on any other web device, information is automatically synched. Users always get updated information.

Geeks On Site: Gadgets Go Green

Last July, a pilot flew an experimental solar-powered plane for 26 hours without using a single drop of fuel. Then in August, teams from three continents set off on a trip around the world in 80 days driving solar powered cars. With headlines like these hitting the technology news sections, perhaps a glimmer of hope is shining for the future of our environment. Geeks On Site takes environmental friendliness to heart, and we believe that a lot can be accomplished with small actions (like printing on both sides of the paper, if you must print!). So how can the average consumers do their part in keeping the earth green, the oceans blue, and the sky full of breathable air? You will be surprised at the range of inexpensive options offered by new technology to be “in the green.”

SOLAR CHARGERS FOR MOBILE DEVICES

You might have seen a few solar panels here and there, but did you know that you can now charge pretty much anything on the go with solar power? This goes for a wide range of items from phones and cameras to iPods and mp3 players. Some solar chargers will even charge your laptop. When put in direct sunlight, solar chargers harness the heat of the sun and transform it to energy. This means that you no longer need to worry about your items’ battery levels before leaving your house. You simply need to bring your charger with you, and connect your portable device to the charger with a USB cable (or some come with custom cables) and charge away while working on your tan. Some chargers also come with an internal battery that will save the energy for later use.

ENERGY MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY

The winter is approaching, meaning higher electricity bills for those who want to keep their households warm and cozy. Many companies are now targeting consumers with energy management devices that monitor the amount of energy usage in your household. Competition between these companies has contributed to the development of a variety of features in the devices, ranging from the ability to control your appliances via mobile phone to monitoring real-time energy prices. Energy management equipment usually consists of computer software and a central panel that monitors your household’s energy consumption. Some software allows you to enter data from your old utility bills to make an estimate of your past consumption, and shows you how much lower you can go. To name two appliances available in the market, you can check Intel’s Intelligent Home Energy Management or The Energy Detective (TED), which works with Google’s free PowerMeter software.

ENERGY SAVING GADGETS

If you feel that merely monitoring your household’s energy consumption is not enough, you can take it a step further by getting familiar with power saving gadgets, such as surge protectors that automatically shut down outlets whey they are not in use. For example, the iGo Green technology product line has brought to the market surge protectors that you can connect to several outlets at a time. The company has also developed chargers that consume little energy. These so called “travel chargers” are a practical solution if you do extensive traveling (they can be plugged into a car or airplane outlet), or live in an area where relying on solar chargers is not a viable option.

You do not have to be a “geek” to know many more green gadgets are on their way, but while you are waiting why not try out the Geeks On Site recommended items listed in this article. Stay tuned for more green tips from Geeks On Site!

Online Cool Gadgets: Making Life Easier

There are number of gadgets available in the market that are helping the people in so many ways. Devices like televisions, laptops, cell phones, gaming consoles, Ipods and many more have been designed in such a beautiful manner so that people can use them in their day to day purposes. Some of the gizmos are only used for the specific events like birthdays, anniversaries or any other occasions. Travel gadgets, office going tools, birthday gadgets, valentine day gifts, Christmas gadgets, gifts for her or him and lots more. Presently, online cool gadgets can be easily obtained as the internet technology is getting advanced gradually.

Latest devices like flashing T-shirts, pink retro dial telephone, yellow waterproof bath duck radio, hanging Harry light pull, little lamp with Battery, animal’s plush magnets, Puzzles and games, mobile Phone Spinner and many others are also gaining huge popularity among the people worldwide. All of them are really trendy and classy, which can easily catch the attention of a common user. They are fully packed with innovative designs and features that allow the users to operate freely.

Useful devices like mobile phones that we use for the purpose of communication. It is small but very useful as they stay connect us with our near and dear ones throughput the world. On the other hand, laptops or computers that helps us in making our work easier and faster. We cannot even imagine our life without these helpful widgets. UK market is full of these wonderful and stylish gizmos.

You can now buy them through online as it will save our huge amount of time as well as energy of yours. Cool gadgets are made available Online for the users, so that they can choose simply by logging on to the internet. So, grab them as it will definitely give you good value of your hard earned money.