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Nov 03

Why I am bullish on iPhone Web; Looking at my wifes iPhone

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iPhone Old School

I picked up my wifes iPhone today and wasn’t at all surprised to look at the AppStore icon and see a bazillion updates showing in the badge icon. To explain, I will pick up Emily’s laptop and find Software Update bouncing for its life. “Look at me! Please, it’s been months!” Em doesn’t seem to notice this: “I don’t look down there.” Huh :) If the leaping icon doesn’t do the trick, a badge on an icon that is never touched won’t do the trick.

This is why I am bullish on that Web thing on the phone. Emily is using an old Facebook.app, but imagine if she was going to a Facebook website that had access to APIs for the camera and address book. With these APIs, Joe could build everything that he has done on the native app, yet auto update my wife since this is all just behind a URL!

PhoneGap is there to allow you to take your Web app and throw it in the App Store so people can find it there. You can also access native APIs too through PhoneGap, but hopefully Apple opens up more and more to Mobile Safari itself.

I hope that the AppStore will offer a “keep up to date” option so it can auto download new versions for me. I wish that other products did that too, especially browser nightlies. I want WebKit and Firefox (Minefield) nightlies to keep updating themselves.

The big question: Location API. HTML 5 has it. WebKit is notoriously good for implementing these APIs, but Location is a key feature for apps and the AppStore. Hmm.

4 Responses to “Why I am bullish on iPhone Web; Looking at my wifes iPhone”

  1. Jeff Gilfelt Says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I am curious if any PhoneGap based apps have actually made the app store yet? Yahoo! also have a really nice mobile development platform called blueprint ( http://mobile.yahoo.com/developers/roadmap ). You write your app once in declarative XML and they provide custom runtimes (both web and native) for hundreds of different handsets, so your app can reach the widest possible audience. They have a native iPhone runtime that is apparently pending app store approval.

    I am hoping that Apple’s contributions to SproutCore will yield some benefits for web app developers. Amidst all the hype of the app store and native SDK launch, they did release some web based tooling for iPhone within Dashcode, multi-touch support, CSS hardware accelerated transitions and meta tags to support browser chrome-less app launching.

  2. jamshid Says:

    It would be sad if we finally get little computers in our pockets, unix boxes even, but we only use them as fancy green screens. Then again, I guess if webapps get full access to the native api, webapp vs app just becomes semantics.

  3. Dave Johnson Says:

    There is probably already a comment in moderation but @jeff there are a few PhoneGap apps in the store such as Inside Trader (http://www.insidetraderapp.com/blog/2008/10/21/secret-sauce/)

    Don’t forget Dion, PhoneGap is working on Android, Blackberry and with any luck someone will take up the cause for the S60 browser (which is also WebKit based) and Windows Mobile (which is definitely not WebKit based).

    We have taken the first steps towards making PhoneGap compliant with the Location API as well.

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