The iPhone Gets More Compelling as a Business Phone

iponeLike everyone else, I’ve been excited about the iPhone.  But, one of the major drawbacks for me has been the lack of integration with Microsoft Exchange server for syncing email, appointments and contacts over the air (OTA) without a physical cradle connection – as my smartphone does today (and has for the past several years).

Well, it looks like that may have changed, Mary Jo Foley is speculating that Apple has licensed the Exchange ActiveSync protocol from Microsoft.  Though neither Apple nor Microsoft has confirmed this, sounds like a good sign.  A little further digging tonight, and I see that Walt Mossberg confirms this rumor, by briefly mentioning:

Email: The iPhone can connect with most popular consumer email services, including Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, EarthLink and others. It can also handle corporate email using Microsoft’s Exchange system, if your IT department cooperates by enabling a setting on the server.

Sounds like great news for geeks everywhere who want the coolest new phone, but still need the business tools they have come to expect such as push email and OTA sync.  I still won’t be camping out at the Apple/AT&T store, but the iPhone is looking better and better to me.

Now if we could just get a REAL SDK……

[UPDATE]  – Looks like the initial Exchange support is just through IMAP, which works OK at best.  Hopefully the ActiveSync rumor is really true!

Apple iPhone, a Guided Tour

With only 7 days(and 4 hours) left until Apple launches the iPhone, they released a guided tour video today.  I haven’t watched it all yet, but I am very impressed with the iPhone so far.

I havent decided if I really want an iPhone yet, as there are a few features my WinMobile smartphone has, that the iPhone does not – namely Exchange server integration, a big one for me.  Either way, I’m sure I’ll visit the Apple or AT&T store next week to check them out.

Video Here

PhotoSync Beta2 for Windows Home Server is Available!

just finished up the 2nd Beta for PhotoSync for WHS.  (See this postfor an overview of what PhotoSync is)

The new version has several tweaks, bug fixes and the following enhancements, based on community feedback:

  • Ability to name Flickr Images based on the file name
  • Ability to automatically create Flickr ’Sets’ based on the folder name
  • Ability to set Flickr photo permissions (Public, Friend, Family)
  • Allow selection of any WHS Shared folders as the sync folder
  • Automatic upload throttling to keep large amounts of photos from bogging down your Internet connection
  • Ability to disable PhotoSync from the WHS console

Other notes and changes:

  • WHS console application no longer opens Internet Explorer on your server
  • Setting changes take place quicker
  • Config tools now use UNC shares (\\ServerName\ShareName\) rather than drive letters
  • Note – If you have a free Flickr account, you are only allowed to create 3 photo sets.  If you have more photo folders than this, PhotoSync will still upload them, they will just not be part of a set
  • If you have Beta1 Installed, install this over it (don’t uninstall Beta1)to maintain your settings and upload database – if you do uninstall Beta1, you will need to reconfigure things and re-link to Flickr.  You photos will also be re-uploaded (dupes).

Please enjoy, and send your feedback!

** Update Feb 26 2012 **

Download links were lost in blog migration.  Updated links are here:

PhotoSync for WHS, Beta 2 Download

Beta 1 (older)

 

TechRepublic also has a nice install guide for PhotoSync here (This is from PhotoSync Beta1, so some screenshots will be different)

Baby Names

Dennis Rice sent me this cartoon from bLaugh today.

Since we just went through this process (not the Skype part), I got a good chuckle here.

I wonder if this conversation will be happening in the Scoble Household soon? (Replace Skype with Twitter :-) )

Naming her skype

PhotoSync for WHS Install Guide

Even when the install steps are pretty straight-forward, a nice guide always helps. Sean Morton over at TechRepublic has done a nice step by step install guide, with screen shots, of my PhotoSync for WHS application.

Nice job, Thanks Sean!  (One less thing I have to do :-) )

Windows Home Server is in Release Candidate 1

The WHS server team released RC1 this weekto all the beta testers.  This is a huge milestone for the product, as it is now ‘feature complete’.

Just a few more bug fixes (it’s never really just a few on any software project, but I bet they are getting close), and houses around the world will be able to sleep well knowing their data is all safe and sound.  As added bonuses, they have now opened the beta to anyone who would like to try WHS, AND I will be putting ou a new relese of PhotoSync for WHS real soon!

If you have an unused PC lying around, I would highly reccomend giving WHS a look.