Despite questions about the health of Steve Jobs and the recent (and lackluster) MacWorld Expo, Apple seems to be on a roll these days. Nowhere is that more apparent than with the iPhone, which continues to disrupt the consumer phone market and make inroads into the enterprise.
While Apple still has some rough edges to smooth over when it comes to integrating the iPhone with Microsoft Exchange, some IT pros are already using the iPhone to help them manage aspects of their IT environments. Some iPhone apps aimed at IT pros are already beginning to appear in the iPhone App Store, including network diagnostic tools, training materials, and other IT-focused utilities.
One of the most ambitious is Carter Harrison's WinAdmin 1.1, an remote desktop protocol (RDP) client for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Using WinAdmin -- which is priced at $11.99 -- you can remotely access a Windows PC (Windows Server 2008/2003/2000, Vista, and XP Professional are supported), load and view documents, make system configuration changes, and perform many of the functions that traditional RDP clients allow. (I've added some additional WinAdmin screenshots below the fold.)
A WinAdmin customer using the screename Dr. Puttingham extolled the virtues of the product in an App Store review, stating that "\[WinAdmin\] was the deciding app for me to switch to the iPhone 3G. I have an IT consulting business and am constantly needing to administer my SBS 2003 Servers remotely. This worked better than I expected, coming from a Windows Mobile 6.x world where this was built in." You can check out the WinAdmin website or support forum for more information, or purchase and download WinAdmin from the iPhone App Store.
In addition to WinAdmin, a number of other IT-focused apps have been showing up in the App Store. Terminal Software's NetTools ($3.99) is one of several network diagnostic utilities available for the iPhone. NetTools currently offers ping and traceroute functionality, but a post by author Povl H. Pedersen in the NetTools blog indicates that more functionality is forthcoming. Find out more on the NetTools website, or you can purchase and download the product directly from the iPhone App Store here.
Last Syllable Systems specializes in training materials for a variety of Microsoft client-side applications, including Word, Excel, Access, Outlook, and Powerpoint. Now the publisher has made those available for the iPhone and the iPod Touch. I'm not sure how useful training documentation and resources are when used on a device with a limited battery life, but I'm sure some people may have a need for it. All of Last Syllable's iPhone products sell for $9.99; visit the Last Syllable Systems website for more information.
So have you found any useful IT-focused iPhone apps? Feel free to add a comment to this blog post detailing your findings, or drop me an email at [email protected].
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