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Apple Allows Lotus On iPhone (After Banning Competitor) 150

ImNotAtWork writes "Apple is allowing IBM's Lotus to be installed on iPhones. Recently it killed a developer-submitted program that was deemed competitive with Apple's product."
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Apple Allows Lotus On iPhone (After Banning Competitor)

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  • by astrosmash ( 3561 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @08:54AM (#25217085) Journal
    Lotus Notes for iPhone is just a plain old Web app. You can't stop the web.
    • by slimjim8094 ( 941042 ) <> on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @09:00AM (#25217157)

      Seconded. I imagine that apple did, in fact, ban this from the 'real' application store, but this is a webapp - a monstrosity of HTML, Javascript, and AJAX. It's just a webpage, and Apple doesn't give two shits. And even if they did, they couldn't do anything about it.


    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Atriqus ( 826899 )
      Give it time, they'll "fix the glitch". To paraphrase:
      Apple interprets choice as damage and routes around it.
    • Wernstrom: [] "Ladies and gentlemen, my Killbot features Lotus Notes and a machine gun. It is the finest available."

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by indytx ( 825419 )

      Lotus Notes for iPhone is just a plain old Web app. You can't stop the web.

      Unless you're Al Gore. "I brought you into this world, . . . "

    • You can't stop the web.

      Just wait until they release the iPhone 0G.

  • by falcon5768 ( 629591 ) <> on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @08:56AM (#25217109) Journal
    Lotus notes is not the same as using Mail and iCal on the iPhone. The program that was denied by Apple usurped those apps into its own app. To my knowledge Mail or iCal have no Lotus syncing features.
  • Notes is different (Score:2, Interesting)

    by wandazulu ( 265281 )

    I'm not defending Apple's decisions on what apps can run and can't; if anything I'm really p*ssed that they would prevent any "competitive" product from running on the iPhone.

    That said, Notes is something completely different than a straight email program. If anything, it's basically a database program, and email is just another schema in it. It's so completely unlike regular email programs that I could see Apple not having a problem with it, especially since you need to have a Notes server to get/put anyth

    • You've apparently been drinking far too much of Lotus' kool-aid. Yes, Notes can do lots of databasey things. But, let's be honest here. No matter how much Notes infrastructure your company tries to put in place, well over 90% of most users' experience with it is email. Lotus simply needs to understand that.

      I really wish Lotus would get this concept through their heads. I don't care HOW much they try to sell its other "features" (which now directly compete against ... WEB APPLICATIONS!), if they can't g

      • by afidel ( 530433 )
        Hah, I've seen plenty of places that have replaced Notes for email functionality but kept it for the huge volume of home grown apps that use it's great database replication infrastructure to positive effect. It's almost always more cost effective to pay for CAL's and maintenance then to try to replicate the functionality in a new system. Also, the email experience has been vastly changed with the Notes 8 client, it's much more Outlooky.
      • Re: Notes is crap (Score:2, Informative)

        by icebrain ( 944107 )

        Lotus notes may have a great database or whatever, and some nice features like integrated calendars and meeting notes... but the interface sucks donkey nuts. Rotten, maggoty, herpes-infected donkey nuts.

        Keyboard shortcuts and terminology are completely different from every other program out there. I mean, F5 is the standard refresh key in Windows and every other program I've used... but in Notes, F5 is the "lock interface" key. F9 refreshes. And selecting multiple items with control or shift doesn't wor

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gad_zuki! ( 70830 )

      I think its incredible that they wont let people download their own email client. The vendor of the phone shouldnt even have this power. Email clients are basic functionality. Installing your own doesnt hurt Apple in any way. Typical Apple: run by short-sighted MBAs. Im so glad I didnt give in to the iphone madness. WM isnt sexy but it runs everything.

      • While I completely agree that Apple needs to seriously loosen it's grip on iPhone developers, I wouldn't say this is a decision driven by "short-sighted MBAs." It's far more likely that this is Steve Jobs saying, "My way is the best, and you can only do it my way."

      • Steve Jobs got an MBA?!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @08:59AM (#25217147)

    Did the poster even read this article before posting it? It clearly says that it's a web based application that will run through the Safari browser. Nothing gets installed on the iPhone. Try reading it next time before posting, that way the headline you choose might make sense.

    • by SenseiLeNoir ( 699164 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @09:32AM (#25217493)

      I cannot understand the reason why the parent is a troll. The "application" in this case is a web application, not a native installed application.

      The post, states clearly:

      "Apple is allowing IBM's Lotus to be installed on iPhones. Recently it killed a developer submitted program that was deemed competitive with Apple's product."

      Which is wrong. I cannot see that the parent is a "troll". IT could even be argued the actual Slashdot post is a troll (patent lie, followed by a heated "angle" to start a flamewar)

    • by Rary ( 566291 )

      And this is to say nothing of the poorly worded second sentence (of a two-sentence summary) which stopped me dead in my tracks:

      "Recently it killed a developer..." -- wait, what?!? -- "...submitted program..." oh, whew!

  • IBM (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rlp ( 11898 )

    IBM has more influence with Apple than Joe Random Developer. What a surprise ...

    • As many others have already noted, this is just a web app, and the parallels drawn to app banning are misguided on a number of fronts). What's surprising is that IBM got completely shut-out on the enterprise side of things. At the 3G release keynote, "enterprise" basically was taken to mean "Exchange," and IBM was left twiddling their thumbs. There's an IBM exec's blog that I found amusing to read ( If you thumb through the back archives and read between the lines, you can see the s*
      • by pstorry ( 47673 ) * on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @10:46AM (#25218663) Homepage

        That's not what I read at Ed Brill's site...

        What I read was lots of iPhone fanboys screaming that there was no enterprise sync with Domino/Notes, and that this would single-handedly kill the product as Corporate America spent the next month doing nothing but throwing out all phones for iPhones, and all mail systems for Exchange.
        (That's why I call them fanboys - their reasoned analysis and reaction identifies them as such to me.)

        IBM's response was (and had to be) "Apple didn't approach us about it, and we can't do it on our own as the SDK as shipped doesn't have the appropriate APIs exposed".
        Basically, Apple chose to work with Microsoft only when it came to synching with Enterprise systems, and IBM has little control over that.

        Now, IBM had _already_ been developing the iNotes Lite system that the NY Times article refers to.

        The full iNotes webmail system is pretty good, but it's also a pretty complicated web application which only ran on a couple of supported browsing platforms - all desktop. (For example, until recently, it was actually IE only, with ActiveX components.)

        To give people access to the basics no matter what the (modern) browser someone was using, iNotes Lite was developed. (The betas have been shown to work on the Opera browser of a Nintendo Wii, amongst other things.)

        So this wasn't even really developed specifically for the iPhone. It's just the first thing that IBM have shipped which can work on an iPhone.

        IBM may or may not be working with Apple to get more native integration working on the iPhone. But given how open and public Apple are, we likely wouldn't know until it ships.

        But let's be clear - the real blocker is the lack of support from Apple. This isn't specific to IBM - my understanding is that if you wanted to write something that used SyncML to synchronise an iPhone and a Funambol server, you couldn't do it either. The SDK has no documented ways of doing access to the mail/calender/to-do application storage that would allow integration, so unless you can work with Apple directly you're stuck.

        What's really interesting is that IBM's marketing is now spinning it as "The iPhone wasn't secure, this is".

        That could be IBM giving up on Apple and just going with what they've got. Or it could be IBM toning their public reaction down from "Apple are crap and don't want to work with us" because they are working with Apple now.

        Only time will tell.

        I feel pretty sorry for IBM on this whole affair. The sheer hype around the iPhone makes this somehow a major story, when in the grand scheme of things - even within the computing world - it's actually rather a non-event...

  • by Hozza ( 1073224 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @09:02AM (#25217171)

    The IBM system is just a web app i.e. a web page with AJAX, viewed via Safari on the iphone. Of course Apple can't ban it, anymore than they can ban you from visiting gmail with an iphone.

    The whole AppStore NDA issue is important, and worthy of discussion, but can we at least avoid FUD ridden straw men like this one.

  • Lotus what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward


    • 1-2-3?

      That was my reaction. I thought the article was going to be about a spreadsheet until I followed the link and discovered they were talking about Lotus Notes. Lotus used to be a brand more dominant than Microsoft, now it's just shorthand for a specific piece of PIM software.

      I must be getting old.

  • IBM's Lotus provides more functionality than the email app that was not allowed by Apple.

    There certainly seems to be a lot of whining by a vocal few who feel entitled to access to the iPhone. I especially enjoy the whining of people who have their apps disallowed. The reasons for the app rejection were well known, if only they had read the developers' agreement with Apple that they had agreed to before they started developing their apps.

  • Any justifiable limit on freedom will be adapted to unjustifiable purposes for which it was not originally intended.

    There is a legitimate justification for denying developers unrestricted freedom to publish iPhone apps: It keeps consumers safe from malicious applications.

    Now that after the policy of denying freedom to publish has been established, for that legitimate purpose, it is adapted to the illegitimate purposes of restraining competition and playing favorites.

  • Notes email client isn't even a *good* email client.

    Notes is more like a browser for a weird mainframe version of the web, based on copying and synchronizing databases. It's like what you'd have gotten if OSI networking and IBM mainframes had been the basis of the world wide web.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    As anyone who has been forced to use Notes will tell you.

  • by brucmack ( 572780 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @09:22AM (#25217371)

    Lotus is a brand, not a product. As far as I know, the product IBM Lotus is releasing for the iPhone is iNotes, the webmail interface to a Lotus Domino mail server. This isn't a Notes client for the iPhone.

  • Apple didn't "a developer submitted program that was deemed competitive with Apple's product" - the did not approve an app that they felt had no difference from an existing, core application. Releasing an app, for profit, that does the exact same thing as an existing core app _should_ result in it not being approved. Something tells me that Lotus is quite dramatically different from the core apps on the iPhone which is why it was approved. Had the other developer actually _developed_ a mail app, with diffe
    • by jeremyp ( 130771 )

      Is it too much to ask that people who complain about inaccurate Slashdot summaries actually RTFA so they don't also make the same mistakes as the summarizer?

      Clue: Apple didn't need to approve anything because the iPhone Notes client is a web application.

  • The program that was banned appeared to do nothing that did not do. The google thing has been part of it for a while. If this app allows direct access to the lotus server, then that is something new and maybe useful, especially if it works. I cannot get the phone to work with exchange.

    It is annoying that apple will just not allow any app that is not malicious, but I haven't seen a case where something useful (other than voip and other things that ATT will not allow) has been banned.

  • Apple still evil. [] FairPlay-encrypted H.264 video at 11.

  • by nomad63 ( 686331 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @09:50AM (#25217773)
    The inherent reason to allow lotus notes on the i-evil-phone is to penetrate into the corporate IT infrastructure to replace the crackberry. As most of the readers here know, IBM's Lotus Notes still hold a chunky size of enterprise messaging market, to the dismay of Redmond. By allowing Lotus notes, they are making the inroads.

    Also whoever thinks Lotus notes has a better UI than any mail app, is insane in my opinion. People use Lotus notes because they have to by corporate policy. When they add it to their i-phones, it is not going to replace the use of mailapp by no means, with the exception of 3 masochistic i-phone owners. Whereas the addition of a better functioning maill front end, might force Apple to revisit theor own mail app, which means money out of Steve the conman's pocket. It is intolerable...
  • Sorry to say this but I don't think Lotus Notes should be considered a viable e-mail client.

    I know this sounds like a troll, but I have to use it every day, and honestly trying to get raw e-mail source is a chore that no one should have to ever do.

    This decision for Apple however does contradict the position for the so called small developer that had their app banned for competing.

    • by dominux ( 731134 )
      to be fair, reading raw email headers is something not many people should ever have to do. Just open a mail and select view-source from the menus. Not hard at all. It does suck a bit that you have to open the mail first. There is also an API for parsing and processing mime entities. Not especially hard to use.
    • "Sorry to say this but I don't think Lotus Notes should be considered a viable e-mail client."

      Works fine as an email client. Now if all you bought it for was email then yes your correct, you wasted your money.

      btw you can get the raw MIME fine from the mail message (java/lotusscript). But your average user would never need to do it, so its not an option by default.

  • by ewrong ( 1053160 )

    That means I can get my nice shiny super slick iPhone running a cluncky UI from the early 90's. Where's the install button?

    Just hope they didn't forget the "Internet-Style Forward" option.

    • Early 90's? Notes 8.0.1 was released this year and 8.5 should be released near the end of the year.

      • It still has a cluncky UI from the early 90's. And a bad one at that.

        It's not just the UI that sucks either. "Reply with attachment" -- why would anyone ever do that? Much less make it highest on the list of reply options and named just "reply" so you have to scroll down to "reply without attachment" to avoid sending an attachment right back to the person who just sent it! Sheer genius, that.
        • > It still has a cluncky UI from the early 90's. And a bad one at that.

          The UI looks nothing like the 90's version.

          > It's not just the UI that sucks either.
          > "Reply with attachment" -- why would anyone ever do that?

          If they planned to reply to more people then initially were in the list of the original email? Also at least for Version 8.5 (as I just checked) the default is to reply without attachments to save space.

          But it is a moot point if you are an 8.5 server because it only ever stores one copy o

          • The UI looks nothing like the 90's version.

            Of course not -- Notes in the 90's had a clunky and ugly 80's-style UI. I mean Notes looks like what most UI's looked like in the 90's.

            If they planned to reply to more people then initially were in the list of the original email? Also at least for Version 8.5 (as I just checked) the default is to reply without attachments to save space.

            I have 7.0.3 and there is no default -- clicking "reply" brings down a list of "reply" (which is w/attachment), "reply with hist

            • > I mean Notes looks like what
              > most UI's looked like in the 90's.

              R7 maybe if you were using legacy templates. R8 doesn't.

              > I have 7.0.3 and there is no default

              As I said I checked R8.5. R8 also has it. It uses the Eclipse default drop down button. But if you were that upset about it you can just recode the button in question to suit YOUR needs. Or you can leave it as is and give yourself an excuse of something to whine about.

              >It sure does eat up space on my hard drive in my replicated database

              • I'm stuck with 7. Maybe we'll eventually get 8 and it won't suck as bad. But it sure sucks hard now, and the idea of "re-coding a button" in a friggin mail client is outrageous, especially to someone who came from using the perfect out-of-the-box Thunderbird.
  • by mkcmkc ( 197982 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @10:18AM (#25218195)

    I'm definitely switching to Linux now...

  • First, the summary is bad, since IBM is not selling anything through the App Store, and the "other" competitor was actually selling through the App store. Apple really needs to stop thinking they are the greatest thing ever. Let's face it, most people who have bought the iPhone are either Mac addicts, or they simple liked the all-in-one package of cell phone, GPS, iPod, PDA, game platform. That being said, some of the Apple-included applications really are lacking (aka "sucking"). The Mail application h
  • by Warlock7 ( 531656 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @11:32AM (#25219497)
    What a dumb, misleading title for an article. Well, welcome to the anti-Apple bandwagon /.

    Seems funny that this "story" is being presented the way that it is. Lotus Notes on an iPhone is a web app through the browser, this has absolutely nothing to do with the App Store, as is implied by the twit writing the story about the article. Apple has nothing to do with allowing or disallowing Lotus Notes to run since it's not an app in the app store.

    More fucking hate...
  • I mean, a WHOLE lot more. I fail to really see the "competitor" thing where a Gmail checker is concerned, frankly.

    When I used Notes it was awful, and I hated it, but certainly there are many uses for it besides checking email, and I'm sure there are substantial requests for Notes for the iPhone that will drive iPhone option, as opposed to a Gmail app that does really repeate what's built into Mobile Mail.

  • iPhone isn't done until Lotus won't run!

  • who knew there were so many different way to point out someone is wrong.
  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2008 @02:08PM (#25222151) Homepage Journal

    Notes is a great platform for corporate apps. But any corp worth their salt is running their remote users through a VPN tunnel of some kind. So you'd need to run that tunnel or VPN dialer or tokenized app on the iPhone as well.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      the iPhone has a VPN client, only thing is, you can't select the port it runs over, but meh, it supports IPSec (Cisco), PPTP and LLTP
  • IBM made a web page. Someone else submitted an app to the App Store. How are these things even remotely connected?

    Seriously, this is the worst Slashdot "story" since... well, probably yesterday.

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