I just had an idea for a "secret feature" that could turn the iPhone's web app development policy around. Technologies being developed by Google and Adobe are trying to make web based apps feel more like their desktop ancestors by allowing off-line use. Google has Gears and Adobe has AIR (formerly Apollo), but both seem to be going for the same thing. If this pans out on the iPhone, 3rd parties could write web apps that go far beyond the widgets and dressed up websites that everyone sees coming. Imagine a Google Maps that keeps your local area's maps in its memory so you can quickly look up a street's name without going online. Imagine an RSS reader that grabs entire articles so you can read them on a plane. I only bring this up, because even if the only way to get 3rd party apps onto the iPhone is through the browser, that doesn't mean we'll always be tied to an internet connection to use them. If Apple opens the door just a little wider, Google or Adobe might just step in and provide a platform for the "desktop-class applications" Apple promised in the first place. I'm curious what the rest of you think. (And just to clear the air, I really hope the Flash situation is resolved before too long, hopefully as the first software upgrade for the iPhone, if not sooner).