It’s been a good while since I’ve used a Windows Mobile device on a regular basis, but two of my *essential* apps when I was using one were Pocket Informant and Note2Self (formerly known as Voiceminder), both produced by WebIS. WebIS has big plans for Pocket Informant and Note2Self on the iPhone – and […]
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Some News on Pocket Informant & Note2Self for iPhone

Pocket Informant 

It’s been a good while since I’ve used a Windows Mobile device on a regular basis, but two of my *essential* apps when I was using one were Pocket Informant and Note2Self (formerly known as Voiceminder), both produced by WebIS.

WebIS has big plans for Pocket Informant and Note2Self on the iPhone – and I’ve had a chance to catch up with Alex Kac, the CEO at WebIS, over the last few days and talk to him a little about plans for these apps and a couple other topics.

For those who haven’t tried these apps out, Note2Self is a slick voice-notes program that makes it a no-effort process to create a new voice note and email it to yourself or others; and Pocket Informant is the leading PIM program on Windows Mobile, providing Contacts / Calendar / Tasks management and more in a very powerful and hugely feature-rich package.

Here are some of Alex’s answers to a few questions I threw at him, as well as some comments on plans for these two great programs:

On *When* we can expect to see these apps launch in the App Store:

Right off the bat I can tell you that we *expect* to have Note2Self available at or soon after the public launch of the iTunes App Store. The program works now and we have an iPhone Developer Membership so we can test it on our device, but the SDKs keep changing core things so we have to keep going back to rework some things. No real problem but it does mean I can’t say with 100% certainty that we’ll be ready on day 1.

Pocket Informant itself is a big app and so just from that we know we won’t have it ready in June. August/September is more like it. The biggest question on availability will be synching because right now the Calendar Store is a private framework and the SDK rules preclude us from using it. Same with alarms. We have ways around this, but it involves extra development time and a less than optimal situation. Apple is aware of our needs on both fronts, but I don’t know if they plan to take care of it in the 2.00 release or later.

What do you think of the SDK and Apple’s support for developers, in comparison to other platforms?

The SDK is great. Its missing a lot of core extras that other devices have, though. The phone has them but they are private frameworks right now. From what I know of Apple they will open those areas up once they have "hardened" them for actual developer use meaning they are sure they are good enough and won’t need to be changed. I just hope that comes sooner than later.

Do you expect PI to become the leading PIM for the iPhone, as it is for Windows Mobile?

Arrogance precedes the fall so its probably best I don’t answer that question 🙂

Once frameworks for syncing are more defined, what do you intend to have Pocket Informant sync with?

My hope is that PI will use the CalendarStore just like we can use on the desktop. In that way we can sync with whatever the phone can sync with including Exchange, iCal, Entourage, Outlook.

We probably will have to offer our own Google Sync and perhaps Plaxo sync as well in the future *if* the frameworks are setup, or if they aren’t – sooner.

Do you expect Apple themselves to do more with the in-built PIM apps (which are pretty limited right now), or do you think they’ll leave it to the 3rd party apps developers now?

I do not think they’ll take it as far as many users want them to. They have improved it already in the iPhone 2.0 OS, but only slightly. We have some killer UI (both in usability and eye candy) in PI for iPhone right now that I’m not too worried about it.

As we get closer and closer to June and to the launch of the App Store, it is exciting to think about all the new apps we will start seeing and using.  I know these are two that I will be trying out as soon as they hit the store, and I’m glad to hear that WebIS is going full-speed ahead with them.

We’ll try to bring you more news on these as things progress …

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