iPhone 2.0 Raises Device's Enterprise Profile

eWEEK Labs' tests show that iPhone 2.0 update offers over-the-air sync and security improvements.

Is the iPhone ready for the enterprise now?

The new 3G iPhone's higher data speed and improved location services are compelling, but enterprise administrators should focus more intently on the new software features Apple released in its 2.0 iPhone code.

eWEEK Labs' tests show that the software upgrade provides many of the features needed to power any mobile device for business use, but it still lacks a few capabilities that may or may not be addressed in software by Apple or third-party developers down the road.

The new enterprise-friendly features focus on improved connections to data and on the security of both those connections and the device itself.

Among the new enterprise features included in the new release are Exchange ActiveSync for over-the-air synchronization of e-Mail, Calendar and Contacts; the new Cisco Systems IP Security VPN client for secured access to enterprise applications; WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access)/WPA2 Enterprise support for Wi-Fi security; digital certificates; and restricted access to on-device applications.

The new software, which comes preinstalled on the iPhone 3G and is available as a free update for first-generation iPhones, can be downloaded and installed from iTunes. The upgrade process will delete all data, settings and media stored on the iPhone, so users should be sure to synchronize their devices prior to initiating the upgrade.