Today, Apple announced they have licensed the Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) protocol and are building support into the iPhone. We are happy to have them join the list of mobile device manufacturers supporting EAS.
By the way, our own Terry Myerson was in Cupertino for the announcement this morning. :)
Apple Senior VP of WW Product Marketing Phil Schiller and Exchange Corporate VP Terry Myerson chat at the iPhone press conference.
Obviously, we have been working together for a while on their implementation. What can we say today? They are doing Direct Push and most of the Exchange 2003 SP2 policies (including remote wipe). They are doing email, calendar and contacts sync, and global address lists. While previously you could get you Exchange mail on an iPhone via IMAP, getting contacts and calendar required a tethered sync through iTunes. Doing it wirelessly will be much better (IMHO).
Particularly noteworthy, Apple will implement a couple key Exchange 2007 EAS features.
- Autodiscover - This means those of you running Exchange 2007 can now make it super easy for your users to configure their iPhones to sync with Exchange. Here's what you do as an admin. All the iPhone user does is enter his/her email address and password. Pretty cool.
- HTML Mail - See your mail in its full HTML glory. Obviously the iPhone shows mail in HTML format today, so it's safe to assume your Exchange mail will retain its HTML formatting on the iPhone as well.
I don't have a lot more to say about the iPhone. Perhaps after I'm worked with it a bit I'll share some more thoughts.
While we're here, let's note a couple updates from some other EAS licensees since our last post.
- Nokia has revved their Mail for Exchange application and now supports it on most of the N and E Series smartphones. (I personally prefer the Nokie E61i as a workday phone, and the Nokia E90 when I travel for business.) Mail for Exchange can be downloaded here.
- Sony Ericsson is shipping some cool phones with EAS support. Check out the W960i Walkman. And two that often get grabbed out of my hands are the Z750i featuring a "hidden" external display (mine is "Mysterious Purple") and the sleek K630 (mine is in "Chocolate").
- Palm is shipping the Palm Centro with EAS support.
- Remoba announced its EAS implementation, RemoSync, and expects to make it available soon.
Here's a list of publicly announced Exchange ActiveSync protocol licensees.
- Ed Hott