In the current turbulence of mobile business email after Nokia’s announcement about dropping the Intellisync solution from their portfolio I once started to think about new ways of connecting to corporate email accounts. The quick and easy answer is to use IMAP, but many organizations feel that opening direct IMAP port to public network is a security risk. I got an idea about doing port forwarding with smartphones, a trick that is common in the desktop environment: open an ssh tunnel between two computers and route traffic from a local network port over encrypted session to the another network. Kind of a "poor man's mobile VPN". This way we would need to first open an ssh session to the local network, map terminal’s IMAP (or any other) port to the remote site and create an email account that has “localhost” as email server. Implementing this seemed straightforward, as POSIX-libraries are available for Symbian and there are sources available for different implementations, like OpenSSH. The critical success factor would be how easy solution is to use and how well it is productized.
I did some Googling and found that this has already been done, at least by SSHForwarding application. Unfortunately application failed to run on N95, but anyway this application proves that the idea is not all bad if somebody else had already thought about it. Does anybody know other productized solutions that do the port forwarding thing with smartphones?
Nice surprise from SonyEricsson
I haven’t much used SE devices in personal use, just tried those every now and then. Some time ago I started to use SE K800i just to get some real experiences with the device. To my big surprise I found a remote control application from the phone, launched that and application found my Apple laptop. Before I understood what was going on, the application listed a couple of different keyboard mapping options, selected one of those and to my big surprise I was able to control laptop’s mouse and some special keys with my phone, over Bluetooth. Great tool when giving presentations and all this was available for free! I haven’t seen similar feature in Nokia terminals and K800i is an old phone, became available 2006. In addition to this surprise old K800 has been very nice to use - if you have used just smartphones for a long time, try to use something else. You’ll probably be astonished how fast a phone can be.