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iPhone Gets Add-On Boost From Transmedia's Glide Mobile

The application converts videos to QuickTime and can be used to distribute AJAX and HTML Web sites or multimedia resumes directly on the iPhone.

Just in time for the iPhone release in the U.K. and Germany on Friday, online media management and collaboration provider Transmedia launched an application for creating Word Documents, Web sites, and PDFs on the popular device.

Transmedia's Glide Mobile is a Web-based AJAX and HTML application that can be accessed through the iPhone's Safari browser. Once a person signs up for a Glide Mobile account, they can create, access, and edit Microsoft Word or Open Office documents on their iPhone -- an option that doesn't come pre-installed on the device.

Subscribers can use many of the same features they're used to on the desktop, such as bolding, italicizing, or underlining text, as well as creating bullet points. Documents created on the iPhone can also be converted to PDF files. The application automatically syncs up and converts desktop Microsoft Word documents for access on the iPhone. But an Internet connection is required so that Glide Mobile can send a signal to Transmedia's servers to trigger the automatic synching.

Glide Mobile can also be used to create media rich documents on the iPhone, since it offers the option of inserting photos, music, video, bookmarks, calendar events, and more. Window Media Player videos exported from Windows-based PCs are converted to QuickTime through Glide Mobile, making them viewable on the iPhone.

"That's a really sophisticated degree of functionality we're offering. It goes beyond just editing documents, which in itself is a big deal for iPhone users and especially mobile professionals," said Donald Leka, president and CEO of Transmedia, in an interview.

Another feature that many subscribers might find useful is Web site publishing. Glide Mobile can be used to publish AJAX and HTML Web sites or multimedia resumes directly on the iPhone. The application automatically creates a richer Flash version of the Web site on the subscriber's home PC. Here too a connection to Transmedia's servers is required.

Transmedia launched a separate version of Glide Mobile for German iPhone users to support them in their native language. There is a lighter version of the application available to U.S. iPhone users that can load faster on AT&T's Edge network.

"We wanted to localize Glide Mobile for each market where the iPhone is being sold to create the best possible user experience," Leka said.

Glide Mobile is free and comes with 2 Gbytes of storage. Those that want more storage space are better off purchasing an annual package for $49.95 with 10 Gbytes of additional of storage, which amounts to a total of 12 Gbytes, or a monthly package that costs $5.

Transmedia is not the first third-party provider to roll out a Web-based application for the iPhone. There are many applications available from outside providers, including those that have been approved and posted on Apple's Web site. Currently Apple doesn't allow software to be downloaded on the iPhone, but that's likely to change. Apple is soon due to release a toolset that would allow developers to create native applications for the iPhone, according to the company.

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