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As I visit companies and conferences around the Bay Area, one of my constant battles is finding a good spot for web meetings. It can be a pain in the neck to locate a quiet spot with a good wireless connection, particularly when I’m scrambling to get set up for a meeting that’s only a minute away. WebEx, the video conferencing company acquired last year by Cisco, just made my life a little easier by adding an iPhone application that lets you join meetings with your phone.
Unfortunately, you still can’t run a meeting through the device, but still, it’s a much richer experience than just connecting to a conference call — you can see documents, presentations, screens, and other material on your phone and also send instant messages to other conference participants.
This is a great addition to a mobile device whose usefulness for big companies has been debated. I’m anxious to try this out myself. If it works well, the iPhone app may become my preferred method for joining WebEx meetings — not just because of the convenience, but because WebEx has had such patchy compatibility with my Mac. A startup called Iotum launched a web meeting iPhone app in November, and if competitors like GoToMeeting and Dimdim aren’t working on their own apps, they should start now.
Now, if only there was a good way to block out all the noise at most coffee shops.
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