View Full Version : Fastest way to develop interactive iPad app?

Aug 10, 2010, 11:57 AM
Hello all,
I have a team thinking about publishing a magazine on the iPad. They're wicked good interactive designers, but not so great coders. So what's the easiest way to develop interactive content for the iPad? Does it all have to be hard coded, or can someone develop an interactive site (without Flash) and be able to translate that into an App without a lot of work? I need an app that goes in the app store, so webapps are out. So the question really is, should the team be coders who know design, or can it be designers who know some code? Anyone know what I mean?

Aug 10, 2010, 01:03 PM
Fastest is to probably use whatever tools are available for doing RAD HTML5 web apps, and encapsulate the web app inside an iPhone app. (Apple may require you to insert at least one function into the app that can't too obviously be done in a pure web app.)

Or mock it up in Flash, but stick to visuals that can be translated to HTML5. Then do a rewrite/translation to HTML5, and create an encapsulated web app app.

Or mock it up in anything (Flash included), but stick only to visual idioms that are exactly as described in Apple's iPhone HIG (UI guidelines), and SDK compatible media types. Then hire an iPhone/ObjC contractor to do a view for view rewrite of the mockup into native code.

Aug 10, 2010, 01:23 PM
So basically, the web app would look and feel like an iPad app, and the user wouldn't know the difference? We could design in HTML5, and everything would just work?
For example, lets say our guy creates a drop down menu in HTML5. How does the html5 part know when a person's finger touches the screen?

Seriously, I feel like a really smart dumb person on this topic. We have so many people that know interactive and I want to find a way to use that knowledge. I understand how coding works, and I understand how flash/html works, but I have no idea how they work together.

Having to hire coding contractors would probably mean the venture would not be doable given the money we have. Using our friends who know web design would make it viable.
Thanks for your answer by the way.

Aug 12, 2010, 01:51 PM
If the content is magazine-like or book-like, then create it so it can be used that way. That means an ebook and epub.

Example google search terms:
create epub ebook iphone
create epub ebook ipad
create epub ebook site:apple.com

Example results discussing tools for creating ePubs:

Adobe also has a production tool for magazine-like content, that was used to produce a Wired magazine "app" for iPad. I don't recall the name of that tool, but it shouldn't be hard to find more info.

Example search terms:
wired magazine ipad app

Another strategy is to use nothing but actual web-based technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) and write the entire product that way. It would be exactly the same as if it was deployed to a web-server, but the URLs refer to files stored withing the app. In general, you'd eliminate server-side CGIs (because there's no server) and replace with client-side technology, i.e. more AJAX-like than CGI-like.

The advantage of this strategy is you can develop it and test it using nothing but a set of static web-pages on a web-server. You access the server from an iPad and Presto, It's an iPad app! Or access it from an iPhone and Presto, It's an iPhone app!!

Example search terms:
webview app iphone

Example search results:

Will you eventually need a real iOS developer to do some of the gritty details? Maybe. It depends on what's needed that can't be created using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. There's no way to know with any certainty until all the interactive design and details have been worked out.

Aug 12, 2010, 03:10 PM
For example, lets say our guy creates a drop down menu in HTML5. How does the html5 part know when a person's finger touches the screen?

Surf over to an HTML5 web page with Safari on your iDevice and see for yourself. There seem to be plenty of examples to be found on the web.