Can I have the iPhone app that write sync data with a desktop application that I create? Or is syncing restricted to only iTunes?
Most of our users have windows desktops. We'd like to write a windows app that retrieves data from an iPhone app that we will create when our users sync their phones. Is this allowed? Can it be done either thru iTunes or directly from our windows app?
Well, I have seen apps that transfer files from pc to iPhone. This included AJReader which is a document reader for the iPhone. However, there's something I'm 95% certain about (agreement could have changed, but I doubt that); you are not allowed to transfer data through the USB cable. You're allowed to do that via WiFi. Some apps create some sort of a small ftp server on the iPhone/iPad, and transfer to the device via ftp.
What I suggest is this. Your desktop application should have some sort of an embedded web server, and transfer your data via HTTP protocol. I believe that this islegal, but you have to check the license agreement first.
However, there's something I'm 95% certain about (agreement could have changed, but I doubt that); you are not allowed to transfer data through the USB cable.
That answers my question!!! If we cant transfer data through the USB cable our desktop app/phone data integration concept is a non-starter!
Our issue is what approach and features our dev team wants to implement versus what our customer wants. Our customer wants a more traditional scenario where a user comes back to his/her desk, syncs the device and then we've get the data they've collected on their phone in our app. As devs we prefer (I should say I prefer) a more 'web services' style approach as you suggest. Personnally, I'd rather do the whole thing in Android but thats a battle I'm not likely to win.
Well, I suggest to read the license agreement again, since they have changed a lot of terms lately (latest change was September 9th I guess). My source of info was this, which is more than one year old. As I have said, I believe that Apple would stay with this, but reading the license agreement will never hurt.
Finally, there might be a way to integrate with iTunes, but I don't know any myself. There's an ebook reader called stanza which does such a thing. Check this out