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Does the iPhone support FileVault? Is information stored on the iPhone encrypted and password protected? Does it have biometric capabilities?
For readers who may not be familiar with the Mac OS X feature FileVault (available starting with Mac OS X 10.3), Apple explained (now offline) that:
At home and away, keep your valuable documents safe with powerful AES-128 encryption. FileVault automatically encrypts and decrypts the contents of your home directory on the fly. . . FileVault uses the latest government security standard to safeguard your hard work.
Real-time encryption and decryption takes a great deal of computing power and the original version of "OS X" that the iPhone used lacked this feature. However, the original iPhone did support the option of a four digit password, similar to the password protection provided by iPod models available at the same time.
On March 6, 2008, Apple unveiled support for additional security for corporate users including two-factor authentication and remote wipe enabled by version 2.0 of the iPhone software released on July 11, 2008. For version 3.0 of the iPhone OS (subsequently renamed simply "iOS"), Apple made it possible for all users paying for the Mobile Me service to remotely locate and wipe a lost iPhone.
On June 7, 2010, when iOS 4 shipped, it became possible for iPhone models that completely support the operating system -- the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS -- as well as 32 GB and 64 GB configurations of the iPod touch 3rd Gen to support a level of "data protection." Apple explains that data protection "enhances the built-in hardware encryption [on compatible models] by protecting the hardware encryption keys with your passcode."
To "unlock" all iPhone models, one "slides" a finger across a portion of the display, so it is easy to see how one might think that the iPhone line offers fingerprint-based password protection. Although some high-end mobile phones do have biometric capability, the iPhone line does not.
Ultimately, no iPhone models use the exact same "FileVault" encryption provided by Mac OS X, but modern iPhone models running iOS 4 and later do support encryption. Additionally, Apple has patented biometric access for the iPhone, so it may be forthcoming on future models, too.
Although both the New York Times and Engadget originally reported that the iPhone was to offer no support for Microsoft Office documents -- Word, Excel, or PowerPoint -- on June 22, 2007, Apple posted a Guided Tour which explicitly mentioned that the iPhone allowed one to read, but not edit, Microsoft Word and Excel files.
As originally shipped on June 29, 2007, the iPhone was not able to read or edit PowerPoint files. However, on March 6, 2008, Apple announced that version 2.0 of the software would be able to read PowerPoint files as well as Word and Excel. This version of the operating system was released July 11, 2008 and subsequently released versions support these file formats as well.
Apple has subsequently released an iPhone/iPod touch-compatible version of iWork, which makes it possible to edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, although compatibility is not 100%.
Although it received so little press that it took a reminder from the WSJ, Microsoft additionally plans to make "Microsoft Office Web Applications" that operate via a web browser compatible with the version of Safari used by the iPhone as well as other browsers. However, it is worth noting that this is not referring to native iPhone applications.
Originally, no. Currently, yes. In January 2007, both the New York Times and Engadget reported that the iPhone would not support Microsoft Outlook or Exchange, and this was confirmed when it shipped on June 29, 2007.
However, on March 6, 2008 -- along with releasing a formal developer's kit for the iPhone -- Apple also unleashed a major push into the enterprise market with full support for Exchange, push e-mail, remote wipe, and much more.