The only thing more cumbersome than creating a new account at every Website you want to sign into is having to create a new account before you can enjoy an iPhone app. The Web is well on its way to solving this problem with OpenID, Facebook Connect, and other universal identity systems. And, of course, plenty of iPhone apps use Facebook Connect or Twitter OAuth already. But today iPhone developers are getting a new option from JanRain: a menu of sign-in options from OpenID providers (Google, Yahoo, AOL) to Facebook Connect to Twitter.
Janrain is taking its RPX product, which is used by about 200,000 Websites and launching a developer toolkit in beta. iPhone developers will be able to use it to create a scrolling menu of sign-in options (RPX supports 16 identity platforms). Developers can pick and choose which sign-in options they want to present. Once a user picks an options, such as Google or Facebook, then the app will remember that preference the next time it is launched.
JanRain charges for its service (a few pennies/user/year at high volumes). The company raised a $3.25 million Series A last December. It started out supporting OpenID providers, but now includes other identity platforms as well.