Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Is iPhone a mobile applications platform?


I'm a little hesitant to start the discussion of iPhone and Sametime, but the reality is we do get asked about this a lot and we are trying to plan out a solution. The big question for Sametime team is not if we support the iPhone  but how to create it this given the limitations of Apple' s iPhone SDK. I had not really fully understood how restrictive the SDK  really is until I read this post on Gizmodo.com.  There are some interesting comments here from other software vendors:-

Opera told us they aren't developing for the iPhone because the SDK doesn't allow apps "that interpret code, which is essentially what the browser does." Mozilla CEO John Lilly is more acidic in
this month’s Wired saying, “Apple makes it too hard” but they’re using “a business argument masquerading as a technological” one. Any formats not supported by Apple essentially don’t exist. AT&T has implied to us that it’s Apple that’s not allowing laptop tethering, though there’s obviously network considerations for the carrier, so we're reasonably, but not totally, sure. The NY Times makes it clear that distributors of free music or video will have it tough too, so don’t expect a MyWaves or a Hulu app until the rules get clearer. Steve Jobs told the NYT that this does represent a competitive threat. "We will compete” with developers’ apps, he said blatantly.

Faced with this situation, we of course need customers to  pressure on Apple to open up the device and make it a true mobile enterprise platform as other have noted.

In the meantime, we are thinking that a web based IM experience may provide an alternative path  to Sametime on iPhone until Apple sees the light and gives us access to  create Sametime on the device!  iNotes Ultralite proves, you can make a very compelling web based mobile email user experience - see these screenshots

How would an AJAX browser based Sametime UI suit your needs for the iPhone?