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MS Exchange comes to the iPhone

Synchronica offers mail without pushing

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Software companies are rushing to supply iPhone users with the functionality that Apple forgot to include. Undaunted by their inability to install software on the handset they have adopted a variety of approaches to making their software work without a client on the device.

Take Synchronica, for example. The company's MS Exchange gateway now fully supports Apple's iPhone, thus providing the functionality that has been touted as the biggest problem with the device.

MS Exchange already offers a webmail interface which works fine with the iPhone browser, and some companies are also happy to open up IMAP and SMTP connections. This allows the integrated iPhone mail client to connect direct to company servers, although there are security implications which could frighten IT departments away from this option.

Synchronica offers a happy combination: a server which scrapes content using the webmail interface, and offers it up to users over IMAP/SMTP.

The iPhone can't support proper pushed email - and such support can't be added by anyone except Apple. But with an unmetered data tariff the mail client can be left open and polling every few minutes - giving a push-like experience.

It seems unlikely that anyone will launch an iPhone without unlimited data, making the lack of push email much less important, and with middleware like Synchronica's integrating without requiring Exchange configuration, the iPhone may yet find its way into corporate hands - if there are any left. ®

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