The iPhone and iPod touch both shine at networking. Because there’s Unix inside them, there’s an almost limitless supply of open source networking software available to recompile for use on the iPhone. Shortly after the iPhone was jailbroken and development tools were developed for it, all the usual suspect—web servers, file servers, scripting language—were ported over to the iPhone. After Apple opened up the iPhone to developers, some tools appeared in the App Store as well.
To an end user, this may not seem like much. But to power users and developers, the iPhone is a tool of unparalleled flexibility. You can SSH into your servers. You can use it as a remote control for your media center—or your desktop PC. You can surf the Web with remarkable fidelity, download files, upload files, and generally do anything that you could want to with a desktop computer running Mac OS X, Windows, or Linux.
This chapter presents a sampling of some useful networking features of the iPhone and iPod touch. Many of the staple applications for server administration are available in the App Store, and even more are available for a jailbroken phone. Because of ongoing development, new network apps appear constantly, so keep searching for your favorite protocol or utility in Cydia and the App Store.
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