In an earlier blog post we mentioned that Lansa had a new mobile-oriented app coming out that looked promising. Well LongReach has now been released, we've loaded it up on our iPad and from what we've seen so far it looks good. One of our clients had been "shopping" for a low-cost solution for document distribution to their mobile sales force. It looks like LongReach may fit that role nicely and at a price of $0, it certainly meets the low-cost criteria. We'll report back once we've had a bit more time to explore. One thing we will say though, the documentation that's installed on the iPad is a great improvement over that of most apps we've seen. Once we've had to use it in the heat of battle we'll be better able to comment on how useful it is in practice, but it looks good and appears to be comprehensive.
The only obvious downside that we can see is that it requires four (?) ports to be open on the firewall, so those of you who live under the sway of the local Mordac may have to usesome persuasion to get them opened up so you can give it a spin.
Another recent announcement, this time from Profound Logic is that their new workbench for Profound UI can be plugged in to RDP. That is great news for their users as they can now develop all of their RPG code within a single environment. Hopefully this will be a growing trend and we'll see more and more IBM i tool vendors take advantage of the RDP tool set.
We have a new toy in the family--our first smartphone. Since we are both Mac users and also have iPods and an iPad, it might surprise you that we don't already have an iPhone. Trouble is there is no cross-border data plan that we can use and to get an iPhone would require that we add a data plan at $50 a month to our already exorbitant monthly cross border plan. And that would not give us any data access while traveling in the U.S. That just seemed like too much money for too little functionality to us. So when we saw a Virgin Mobile pay-as-you-go Android phone on sale at Best Buy the other week for $75 including the first month, we figured why not give it a shot.
The good news is that we now have data access while in the U.S. and, for that matter, a backup GPS. We can even use Skype to call back to Canada (and it works very well we might add). The bad news is that we really don't like the Android interface in the Samsung model we have. We know different phone manufacturers have different Android implementations, but this one is just not very intuitive. We may not have an iPhone but on those occasions when we have borrowed one, we found it very easy and intuitive to use. Same for the iPad and iPod touch, which we do have. At least this version of Android just doesn't cut it. We know we have many Android fans among our friends, but we can't help feeling it is the ability to code for it in Java and not have to pay a developer license fee to Apple that is the main attraction--it's hard to believe it's the user interface!