Angling to be the Switzerland of mobile operating systems for businesses, TransMedia has tailored its Glide 3.0 operating system for Apple's highly anticipated new 3G iPhone.
TransMedia Chairman and CEO Donald Leka wouldn't tell eWEEK how he got his hands on the brand-new gadget, announced by Apple CEO Steve Jobs June 9 in San Francisco, to port the new Glide 3.0 platform to the gadget.
"We have a good sense of what's involved with that and I can't say too much other than to say that it works really fast," Leka said.
Does Leka have a 3G iPhone prototype? "I can't really speak to that," he said.
He did discuss how Glide will make the iPhone into its own mobile computer thanks to a number of synchronization and collaboration utilities that can't be found elsewhere. Glide works with the first iPhone, launched a year ago, but Leka is excited because the 3G iPhone is much faster, allegedly sporting the speed business users want.
Originally announced at the D Conference in May, Glide 3.0 includes the applications associated with a productivity and collaboration platform, including e-mail, word processing, presentation, spreadsheet, Web conferencing, calendar, photo editor and contact manager. And now, users can leverage these apps on the new 3G iPhone (and 75 other phones).
Specifically, the software allows hundreds or thousands of people to work together on video, music, documents and photo files via bidirectional synchronization with version control capabilities and seven levels of permission rights.
These include rights management for the number of files that may be viewed, number of file downloads, the amount that can be uploaded in megabytes and gigabytes, what files can be transferred where, what files can be modified, and group rights management.
Glide 3.0 identifies the device and operating system accessing a file and converts it to the supported format. So, if a user has a QuickTime movie on an iPhone and wants to share it with a user of a Windows Mobile smart phone, Glide will convert the QuickTime file into a Windows Mobile file on the fly. If the Windows Mobile user wants to share a Windows Media video with the QuickTime and iPhone user, Glide will convert it to QuickTime.
In a business case, a manager working on a project can assign various rights to the collaborators on a project. Glide 3.0 keeps track of what could be a staggering number of versions, or updates, to the various projects. Click a button called, simply, "versions" and view any version of a file created by group participants.
In the interest of reaching as many users through as many platforms as possible, TransMedia is synchronizing files for Glide 3.0 not just between the iPhone and Mac computers, but also between the iPhone and Windows, Solaris and Linux machines.
The idea is to enable people to communicate and collaborate seamlessly across any mobile device and computer, regardless of brand and code base.
To that end, Glide 3.0 will also synch between the 3G iPhone and smart phones such as RIM's BlackBerry, Palm's Treo, Microsoft's Windows Mobile devices, Nokia's Symbian-based phones and Google's Android gadgets as they roll out.
"In contrast with what Apple does, which is create a lot of proprietary barriers and restrictions, we're completely eliminating those now," Leka said. "The disruption here is cross-platform."
Such cross-platform interoperability is a boon to mobile workers tired of the lack of consistent functionality for sharing files between disparate mobile devices.
Leka admits that breaking down the barriers the incumbent mobile operating system providers have worked so hard to erect makes TransMedia and Glide a bit of a nuisance, but he and his team insist on remaining neutral.
Glide 3.0 also boasts a feature called Spider, which, as the name implies, is a file location tracking system that pinpoints the location of all copies of a file and who has access to those files. This tool can also immediately change or revoke access rights.
Glide 3.0 works with all mobile carriers and users can sign up now to receive 5 free gigabytes of online storage or almost any mobile device from TransMedia.