updated 09:30 pm EDT, Thu August 7, 2008
Lotus iNotes for iPhone
In late January, IBM revealed it was considering the iPhone as a viable platform for its web-based Lotus Notes, and MacNN has revealed that the plans are drawing to a close, with a late 2008 release in mind. While Apple included support for Microsoft Exchange in its latest v2.0 iPhone operating system update, it still lacks several key collaboration features that IBM hopes to supplement through the so-called Lotus iNotes. No specific release date is planned.
IBM's Lotus iNotes is scheduled to bring many new features to iPhone users, such day-at-a-glance calendars, email with attachment sending capabilities, quick contact creation, information on contacts and groups, and reading email with extraneous content hidden or show. These functions are based around IBM's Lotus Domino Web Access infrastructure, and are said to provide a "rich Apple iPhone user experience."
Lotus iNotes appears – at least at the moment, since IBM considers the screenshots conceptual – to have a sparsely populated field of buttons on each screen, allowing for easy navigation, so the user is not required to be tenuously precise. IBM presents the interface in Safari, but with a familiar, functional interface.
When last seen in January, IBM noted it was then at a developmental stage, "not something that [is] ready to go out and market or launch," this release insinuates that the company is close to a finished product. Some viewed the news as a boon, while others panned it, saying the demographics of Lotus Notes and the iPhone were so radically different.
While it is not the first solution to Lotus-using iPhone owners' problems, it is the first official solution. PocketMac preceded Lotus iNotes, with its app GoBetween for Lotus Notes, and Sybase with iAnywhere Mobile Office. Both solutions included support for several of Lotus' features, but had some missing features, such as corporate directory usage, or calendar information.