Microsoft Outlook and IBM Verse :: On the iPhone

by Volker Weber

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Most people just use the native iOS apps for mail, calendar and contacts. But there are in fact a lot more clients. I just want to briefly talk about two from Microsoft and IBM. And I am not going to compare them.

Outlook first. Microsoft did not build it. They bought Acompli who built it. And it quite frankly is the best mail client on the iPhone, even for Gmail. It works with O365, Outlook.com, Exchange, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, iCloud and any IMAP server out there. And it works with IBM Traveler because it behaves like an Exchange Server. Surprise! You can have a really good mail, calendar, contacts client for IBM Notes & Domino. Caveat emptor: Accompli has built a client/server app, where the server is on AWS (Amazon). There is two ways to look at it: great, because it can deliver email right now through push, without having to keep a TCP port open. Or bad, because ... NSA. These two views explain, why the ratings in the app store are so different between the US and Germany.

IBM Verse, the client, not only works with IBM Verse, the service, but also with your own Domino Server, if it runs the latest version of Traveler. Try it out, and then tell IBM what you think about it. That is really, really necessary. It has only 14/28 (latest/all) ratings in the US, and 0/9 in Germany, compared to 91/16906 and 13/1770 for Outlook.

Comments

Outlook is great.
However, on my iPad it says "mail refreshed", does not report any errors, but still displays 2 months old messages only.

Any hint is welcome...

Stipe Sumic, 2015-10-26 14:12

"And it quite frankly is the best mail client on the iPhone, even for Gmail."

Can you elaborate more, please?
(Is it just the instant push of a message?)

Matthias Welling, 2015-10-26 14:24

You have to try it. It's very powerful and easy to use, at the same time. It has transparent access to OneDrive, Dropbox, Box and Google Drive for instance. You can very quickly triage messages (archive, schedule, delete, mark, flag, move) with simple swipe gestures. It has a focussed inbox for important messages. The list goes on and on.

Volker Weber, 2015-10-26 14:54

We just left Notes for O365 and I thought that the Outlook client was the one everyone is using and to my sure price most if not all M.S Gurus use the build in mail client in android phones and the reason is : Outlook is a resource hog , it will take a fully charged Phone in less then 6 hours easy. Bonus: you get better looking calendar.

Palmi lord, 2015-10-26 15:15

Not talking about Android here. In iOS it behaves rather nicely.

Volker Weber, 2015-10-26 15:19

I love the Outlook app on iOS. And if you have not done so far, try Wunderlist as well.

Ingo Seifert, 2015-10-26 15:51

Wunderlist works well for people who cannot fit their todo list inside their brain. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2015-10-26 16:28

Thanks for your answer Volker.

I'm right now not ready to put my email data onto another server than my clients and my email provider. (I'm a german, duh!)

But I will have this provider in the back of my mind when I think I need a more powerful email client on my mobile phone. Then I reconsider.

Matthias Welling, 2015-10-26 16:32

Yup. We don't know how it works, but it has to be bad.

Volker Weber, 2015-10-26 16:36

...or who have just too many todos ;)...

Ingo Seifert, 2015-10-26 16:54

"Offers Apple Watch App"

Bruce Elgort, 2015-10-26 21:24

Has somebody checked in the last time, if the findings of René Winkelmeyer still apply to the Outlook app?

Warning – Microsofts Outlook app for iOS breaks your company security
https://blog.winkelmeyer.com/2015/01/warning-microsofts-outlook-app-for-ios-breaks-your-company-security/

Peter Meuser, 2015-10-26 21:32

I LOVE it when an admin freaks out. Let's just remember how you can easily collect user credentials. Just present this form:

Please log in

User ID:
Password:

[Submit]

In the end, it's q question of (a) trust and (b) competence. I trust that Microsoft has more competence to safeguard my data than I have.

Volker Weber, 2015-10-26 21:51

I second Volker on this topic. Some more background can be found here: https://4sysops.com/archives/is-microsofts-outlook-app-for-ios-and-android-insecure/

Richard Kaufmann , 2015-10-26 22:41

Thanks, Richard, interesting read!

Hubert Stettner, 2015-10-27 00:00

"If it's not yellow it must suck". This gets old real quick.

Bruce Elgort, 2015-10-27 01:14

Outlook on iOS is very usable, very flexible, and very powerful. It's perfect if your organization has a BYOD policy. If not, though, the shared ActiveSync ID required by the proxy architecture is still a major problem, because the company can't control which devices you're using. Some companies embrace BYOD, others not so much.

Rob McDonagh, 2015-10-27 04:21

Volker, you may easily decide for yourself to trust Microsoft, but in enterprise environments the responsible security guys never would do this in this case. The point is, that MSFT as a enterprise solution provider seems not to have any need to transparently describe, was is going on inside the product.

BTW: I myself be not happy at all with the nuisance Outlook advertising in the Office Mobile apps.

Peter Meuser, 2015-10-27 06:46

It's the job of the security guys to say no. But that does not matter once the business has decided to go with O365. In that case the decision has already been made to trust Microsoft to protect their data. As you may know this is happening on a very large scale.

Volker Weber, 2015-10-27 06:54

Kennt jemand schon eine Firma in D., die die Outlook App als Standard für iOS Geräte geschäftlich einsetzt bzw. die Nutzung der App mit Firmen-Accounts auf internen Exchange-Servern offiziell toleriert? Das zugrundeliegende Konzept bzw. Motivation fände ich spannend.

Microsoft verschliesst seine Apps ja bisher vollständig gegen ein Management durch "fremde" EMMs (Stichwort "Managed App Config"). Wer A (Outlook App) sagt, müsste dann auch B (Intune) sagen.

Peter Meuser, 2015-10-27 08:23

Ich kenne jede Menge Firmen, denen Du nicht mal ein MDM verkaufen kannst. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2015-10-27 08:27

What Volker said: "But that does not matter once the business has decided to go with O365.". Typically when they do (like my company did) the security aspects are also assesed and evaluated before the decision is taken. YMMV.

Armin Auth, 2015-10-27 09:48

Volker, ja, da gibt es noch eine Menge Firmen, die an ein "sicheres" Exchange-Management von Firmengeräten glauben und sich dann wundern ...

"Verkaufen" von MDM-Lösungen ist übrigens die Motivation anderer - an mich wenden sich Firmen, die nicht "verkauft" werden wollen.

Peter Meuser, 2015-10-27 16:34

Und Outlook auf iOS ist mit dem aktuellen Update sogar noch besser geworden! :)

Ingo Seifert, 2015-10-29 07:16

"In the end, it's q question of (a) trust and (b) competence. I trust that Microsoft has more competence to safeguard my data than I have."


Well that has two problems in the case of Outlook:

1. The Outlook App never was a Microsoft Product. So it's not only that your company data and passwords leave your company to Microsoft ... they also aren't totally under Microsoft's control either. So in case of a leak you have to figure out if it was Microsoft's or Amazon's fault.

So you must be sure that the competence is with Microsoft and Amazon. Do you trust them equally?

2. Even if you trust Microsoft and Amazon regarding competence ... what about legal issues? Do you have any control that one or both of them aren't forced for legal reasons to allow the NSA to read your data?

For my personal data I don't care ... but as a company with competitors in the US or doing business with the US I have to care because otherwise I run the risk to be sued myself for being careless in case something goes wrong.

Don't get me wrong: I love the whole cloud thing and use it were ever I can but as a company in Europe I can understand every CEO/CTO who says he won't take that risk!

Harald Gärttner, 2015-10-29 16:20

Question: Who do you trust more, Telekom or Microsoft? And why?

Volker Weber, 2015-10-29 17:23

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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