IBM has submitted native mobile IBM Connections applications for Android, iOS and Blackberry to the respective app stores for those platforms.

Mac Guidera and Luis Benitez (both product managers in the IBM Social team) were first with the news over the weekend.  Mac:

In an effort to bring the value of IBM Connections to everywhere knowledge workers are collaborating, we have been producing plug-ins, add-ons and extensions for may client applications, such as Notes, Outlook, Office, Windows, Rational Team Concert and Portal. To date our mobile interface has been through smart phone browsers, but that changes today.
Luis followed up with more detail:
On Friday, IBM submitted 3 native mobile applications to the most popular mobile app stores: Android Market, iTunes App Store, and BlackBerry's App World. The native mobile applications bring IBM's social software platform, IBM Connections, to the mobile world. IBM previously supported mobile access via the mobile's browser, although various business partners had created their own iOS apps for IBM Connections.

All three versions of the app were submitted at the same time but each app store will take its own time in approving the app. Hopefully, the three apps should be available within the next few days for all users. Moreover, IBM has done a tremendous job ensuring that all three apps have the same capability.

Continuing with their Social Everywhere strategy, IBM has also made all apps available for free.

One of the things that you'll notice is that now the ideation and media gallery modules are natively available in the mobile apps. Now, you can vote on ideas, comment on ideas, and manage the ideas while on the go. As well, you can take pictures and upload pictures while at a conference and immediately share them with your colleagues through the app.

Luis also includes screenshots from all three versions:

iOS (note the app will also run on iPads in 2x mode):

Blackberry (requires OS6):

Android (requires 2.2 or later):

At this time, only the Android version has been approved and is listed in the store. The other clients will come as soon as they are approved.

My comments:
1.        I have been following these new clients through the development process as we are part of the Mobile DP program.  It has been exciting to see IBM's vision for these clients develop rapidly to this first released version.  For a first effort at official native clients, I think they have done a great job.
2.        IBM at first seemed very reluctant to embrace native mobile apps, with just a few (almost skunkworks) efforts such as the developerWorks Connectrions client and the LotusLive Meetings client making it out to the market.  I heard a suggestion or two that this was down to the IBM lawyers struggling with the iOS App Store Ts&Cs, however I'd also think this was down to the sheer development effort required - a single mobile-focused web UI is much more cost-effective to develoip.  This delay did give third parties time to get their own apps into the marketplace (such as mLinked and iWildfire) and I now feel a little sad for these guys given their extensive and expensive projects to support the IBM Connections platform.  However, I do think it is best for the IBM Connections customer base that IBM offers official supported apps.
3.        Whilst the apps do not cover all aspects of the Connections user experience just now, they seem to be a great start.  I hope that the focus will continue through future versions to ensure they are kept up to date.
4.        The Blackberry client is clearly a replacement for the ill-fated chargeable Blackberry client that seemed to languish after 2.5, and was removed from Passport Advantage last month.  I got some flak for publishing that article, but wouldn't it have been great if the announcement highlighted that this client was coming in less than three weeks!
5.        Nokia users will need to continue using the Connections mobile web interface for now.  Given my experience with customers, I don't think this will be an issue...
6.        The mobile apps require a specific version and fixpack or above: 'The server must be running version 3.0.1 plus the July 2011 mobile update or higher and the mobile application must be installed on it.'  Best get up to this release ASAP!


By: Stuart McIntyre | 7 Comments | On: 1 August 2011 10:46:37 AM | Tags:  connections  ibm  mobile  android  ios 



Comments

1) Broken images
Bruce 08/01/2011 10:48:15 PM

Stuart - I believe some of the images aren't showing in this post.

2) Images have been removed
Stuart McIntyre 08/02/2011 11:05:02 AM

For some reason the source images have been taken down Bruce (along with several IBM blog articles about the clients). I'll update them as soon as I can...

3) Fixpack
Matt 08/03/2011 6:23:03 PM

Stuart,

I went to Fix Central and the only fixes I see for 3.0.1 are

interim fix: 3.0.1.0-IC-Multi-Comm-IFLO62399 (525.7 KB)

3.0.1.0-LC-Multi-COMMUNITIES-IFLO62399

and

interim fix: 3.0.1.0-IC-Multi-Comm-IFLO62035 (58.39 KB)

3.0.1.0-LC-Multi-COMMUNITIES-IFLO62035

I am not seeing anything for the Mobile App. These 2 updates are from July 27, 2011.

Any idea where the mobile fix is located?

Thanks.

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