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"Enterprise" iPhone Support Creates More Questions Than Answers · 2008-03-11

Apple has revealed that many of the Enterprise-class functions on the iPhone are Exchange-friendly. This is great news for companies which have Exchange servers, but it doesn’t address the standards-compliant ways it seemed that Apple was approaching to satisfy some of these demands prior to this surprise announcement.

Whither Darwin Calendar Server and CalDAV for Calendar Sharing? What of extending IMAP for To-Do Tasks and Notes? IMAP IDLE for “push?” How about MacOSX Server’s Open Directory for Contacts?


Darwin Calendar Server is great for collaborative calendars for the desktop and laptop, what with it’s slick integration with most of the vCal and iCal compliant clients. However, there is no iPhone support. As of iPhone version 1.1.4, the Calendar is a pretty limited app, requiring a sync from iCal on the desktop. Hopefully, Apple will decide to bake in Calendar Server support with the 2.0 upgrade, seeing as how they are leveraging ActiveSync to mesh Exchange Calendaring with the iPhone’s MobileCalendar app.

To-Do Tasks and Notes

There’s already seen some indication that Apple is going to support Notes and To-Do Tasks on the iPhone. They may use IMAP for the transfer of this information based on what’s currently going on with and iCal, but the implementation is half-baked at the moment. can put to-do tasks in an “invisible calendar” in an Apple-created IMAP mailbox called “Apple Mail To Do” in each of your IMAP accounts, but you have to begin this process from Mail. iCal remains mostly oblivious to this special calendar until you “reveal” it by right-clicking on the calendar in Mail and selecting “Reveal in iCal”. The iPhone can see To-Do tasks in this special IMAP mailbox, but they appear as Mime-Attachments in MobileMail, and the iPhone provides no way to view or edit them. Full, round-trip To-Do management should be a part of the iPhone experience, and Apple has many of the pieces in place. Will they only support the ActiveSync provided task management?


In an always-on internet world, not having “push” e-mail seems almost antiquated. The Desktop version of has IMAP IDLE support, which (for properly configured IMAP servers) will allow instant notification and synching of Mail. iPhone has some support for IMAP IDLE, the addition of which corresponded with GMail IMAP support, but in versions up to 1.1.4, it’s not immediate. If and when Apple makes IMAP IDLE work correctly, push e-mail should be a no-brainer for non-Exchange networks.

Open Directory

If you have Leopard Server (or correctly configured LDAP server), you can create shared contacts and contact groups. Address Book will connect to these types of servers and allow you to utilize shared contact information, but why doesn’t iPhone yet? Maybe Apple will extend the Mobile Contacts application to get information from their own Server products? We can hope.

Plea, Plea, Please?!

Exchange support will be a huge boon to iPhone market share in the short term. In the long term, the tea leaves don’t yet show if this is a positioning move for Apple to get the thin edge of the wedge of Apple ease-of-use into the Enterprise. Not all Enterprises use Exchange, though, and it would be in Apple’s best interest to complete the work that’s obviously underway to make iPhone an equal peer on the open standards-based server software being used in Leopard Server.

Hopefully, come June, we’ll find that the hooks into all of the mobile applications which allow ActiveSync support have analogs for configuring them to get data from CalDAV, IMAP and Open Directory.

— Tom Ierna

And the Oscar for Best Apple Product Placement Goes to Jon Stewart · 2008-02-25

Last night marked the 80th edition of the Academy Awards, but more importantly, it was the first time any Oscars had been awarded since the introduction of the iPhone. The iPhone made it’s debut yesterday at the Academy Awards when Jon Stewart pulled out his iPhone to watch Lawrence of Arabia, and even turned it sideways, commenting it looked better in wide screen. The iPhone wasn’t the only bit of trendy consumer electronics featured on the stage, however. Later in the evening, Stewart played the Wii with August Rush star Jamia Simone Nash.

We know the Lawrence of Arabia thing was a gag, but if Stewart really was watching the movie, he would have had to rip it from the DVD, as it is not yet available on the iTunes Movie Store. Otherwise, it was a nifty bit of product placement for Apple. During other segments, when showing footage of writers working at their PowerBooks, the Apple logo was edited out, and that can only mean one thing – new MacBooks coming soon! OK, so that may not be the best indicator of an impending hardware update, but of all the reasonings given for a product refresh, it is not the worst. Close, but not the worst.

In other news, Steve Jobs received his own little shout out as Brad Bird thanked TSO durings his acceptance speech for winning Best Animated Feature with Ratatouille.

— Joe Fahs

Apple Introduces iTunes Movie Rental Specials, This Blogger Still Uninpressed · 2008-02-22

In the latest round of software updates, Apple released version 7.6.1 of their QuickTime multimedia software. The has no new features, but fixes some bugs and improves compatibility with Apple TV 2.0. The change that has been making people feel happy in their pants is the introduction of a discounted “Pick of the Week” at the iTunes Movie Store. The pick of the week costs $0.99 and a new selection will be available every Thursday. This week Apple offers up The Hours (highly recommended).

I like the Apple TV hardware and software interface, but I am already paying for content from enough other sources that the Movie Store and Rentals aren’t compelling enough for me. For example, I installed VMWare Fusion on my computer specifically so I can utilize the Netflix “Watch Instantly” feature and it works like a charm. The Hours is one of the available choices, so I can watch it for free any time I want. It’s not playing on my 42” LCD, but only because I don’t have an Intel laptop to use in the living room.

On top of that, I get 3 movies any time from Netflix, plus I get HBO and Showtime in HD as well(in better quality than what I saw from Apple TV, although I haven’t tested it in my own home theater). When I get a BluRay player, my rentals will be in HD, etc. I maintain that Apple has ways to end my frustration, but I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon.

— Joe Fahs

DVD Jon to the Rescue Again · 2008-02-21

For those of you who have not been around this Internet thing for very long, DVD Jon is a legendary hacker. While he may be knowns as the father of DeCSS, the breakthrough decrypting software that paved the ways for DVDs to be copied, he has also kept his trained on Apple and the DRM in iTunes. It started with QTFairUse, moved on to PyMusique and is now at DoubleTwist.

DoubleTwist media’s aim is to “liberate” your digital media. Basically, it converts purchased iTunes music to MP3. And once you have it on MP3, you can use it anywhere your heart desires, including music players not named iPod and cell phones not named iPhone. Go get it while it’s hot, or until Apple’s lawyers start circling the waters of Norway.

— Joe Fahs

Trouble in the Enterprise? Xserve RAID Goes Missing as Apple Announces Xsan 2 · 2008-02-19

Interesting product news out of Apple today as the company announced the second version of it’s Xsan SAN filesystem product for OS X. Xsan 2 boasts a new administration interface, support for multiple SAN volumes, and support for 3rd party RAID hardware. We’ll have to check in with our production and post production peeps to see what they think of the upgrade, but we do know a few locations that will make the upgrade for the multiple SAN volumes alone.

The other bit of news in this story is the disappearance of the Xserve RAID. As MacDailyNews reports, it is no longer available from the Apple Store and Apple appears to be promoting the Promise VTrak RAID instead. The Xserve RAID was a good product, but it hasn’t been updated very often. It does make one wonder if Apple has spread itself too thin, but the people at Promise might actually be better equipped to sell and support high-availability storage, perhaps making it a better deal in the end.

— Joe Fahs