Can iPhone and Gmail do the business?

Can iPhone and Gmail do the business?

New devices may wow consumers, but will they woo enterprises?

Two major technology releases aimed primarily at consumers – Apple’s iPhone and Google’s updated Gmail service – have significant applicability for enterprises, judging by IT Week’s first looks at the products.

The iPhone is priced at £269 with monthly charges ranging from £35 to £55, and is available exclusively from O2 in the UK and AT&T in the US. However, even that hefty sum could be justified by some executives for the superior features Apple has packed into the handset.

The large 3.5in widescreen touch display that flips as you turn the iPhone, and the 480x320 pixel resolution that gives a very clear image and satisfying viewing experience, will be attractive features for heavy internet users with strong graphics needs.

For business travellers, visual voicemail also provides an easy way to access, listen to, and review messages, while texts are displayed in a conversational view.

Contacts were easily imported through Outlook, and once in place could be used to send emails, texts, make phone calls, and, with Google Maps, plan routes to addresses.

The updates to the Gmail beta include options provided in the contacts box that allow the user to chat, email or call with the press of a button, as well as block specified users, or search for recent conversations with them – a handy feature when tracking back through old messages for information.

However, there are rough edges. For example, on more than one occasion reply boxes did not open. The good news for users testing the update is that they can roll back to the old version through a one-click process.