Email on the iPhone is fairly standard. It integrates nicely with several online email sites, such as GMail, Yahoo, AOL, and .mac. In addition, you can also configure the program to connect to an IMAP, POP or Exchange server. These are all fairly standard features for any device that expects to offer email services to its user. The Windows Mobile device includes these options, with the exception of including Hotmail. As most online email providers give access to their system via POP/SMTP, it is easy to connect the iPhone or Windows Mobile device to pretty much any system.
Figure 15: iPhone Email Program
Figure 16: Windows Mobile Phone SMS Screen
One of the key elements of the iPhone is its ability to connect to the internet via the Safari browser. In our opinion, this is the best feature (other than the interface) of the iPhone because Apple did many things right. When you load up a webpage, the viewable content is really small. You simply double tap the area on the screen that contains the information you want to zoom in on and the screen will shift to show you a closer view of that content. To view more of the page, you can shift the display into landscape mode by turning the iPhone onto its side.
Figure 17: iPhone Mobile Safari
In addition to the normal features you would expect to find in a browser, the Mobile Safari has the ability to open multiple windows. This is one huge advantage Mobile Safari has over Pocket IE, the default browser for Windows Mobile devices. However, Windows Mobile devices are not locked into Pocket IE. In fact, there are more than four browsers available for Windows Mobile users, including Opera and Minimo (a Firefox for PDAs), most of which allow you to disable/enable image downloads to speed up viewing capabilities. The end results is that my WM device can surf many times faster than Mobile Safari…assuming I am just interested in text.
There is one major issue with Mobile Safari that is a bit irksome, and that is no Flash support. As a result, thousands of pages will not load into the browser. PIE does support flash, and you can also download Flash Lite for the Windows Mobile OS. Given that Mobile Safari is the only program on the iPhone that gives it a chance to provide third parties the ability to interact with the device, it is surprising that Flash was left out of the equation.
Figure 18: iPhone Mobile Safari at New York Times
Figure 19: Windows Mobile PIE at New York Times
Of interest, Mobile Safari is also bound to become a highly targeted application for security researchers over the next few months. Within one hour of testing, we had found several bugs that could crash the browser and temporarily freeze up the device. While getting any exploits to run on the device might be tricky without some method of debugging, there are bound to be some attacks that could expose user information or worse.