Devicescape's Connect software for iPhone allows frictionless hotspot hookups: The single most annoying thing about an iPhone--after the lack of a To Do application--is how much effort it takes to connect to a hotspot that requires an account or payment. Devicescape's already solved that program for laptops, in an approach similar to Boingo's, but their real thrust is handheld devices and gadgets. Follow the link for my full write-up at TidBITS, a Macintosh site for which I am a contributing editor.
Distributed via a soft release today with Nullriver, makers of the iPhone installation hack called AppTapp, Devicescape's Connect makes it simple to connect to any network for which you've entered the credentials at their account management site. I've been testing the software for over a week. It's slick. It has two buttons: Login; Logout. Couldn't be more straightforward.
Devicescape attempts to remove the friction from using public and personal Wi-Fi networks, whether free or for-fee or under your own control, by externalizing authentication: you punch all the relevant details into their site, freeing you from having to perform device-by-device, network-by-network authentication, and relieving you of updating one or more devices when you change your own network passwords.
For an iPhone, it's rather ideal to gain access to networks that you have permission to use without any additional effort. Apple should have provided something like this; Devicescape beat them to the punch.
The software and service are free. Devicescape is considering value-added services to produce revenue, including simple options to buy access on networks they partner with using credit card details you store in your Devicescape account.