iOS should have an app for publishing things to the web

Discussion in 'iOS 11' started by jjjjjooooo, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. jjjjjooooo, Feb 9, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018

    jjjjjooooo Suspended

    Sep 15, 2017
    There should be an app called “Web” that lets you easily publish things to the web straight out of the box.

    1. Buy an iPhone.
    2. Set it up.
    3. Take a photo.
    4. Open Web.
    5. “Would you like to publish something to the web?.”
    6. Tap “yes.”
    7. “Your web address is You have 5GB free. You may delete your site or start over with a new address at any time. We may delete inactive free sites after a year. Would you like to upgrade now for a larger site and a personalized address? For example: or Personal addresses are not required and you can update it or revert at any time. Your free address will automatically redirect to your new address. Paid sites may remain inactive.”
    8. Tap “not now.”
    9. [Splash screen tutorial.]
    10. Tap “get started.”
    11. Tap [post button], [photo], camera roll, etc., share button, etc., [share the url], etc.
    12. Done. You’re on the web.

    Also, “Web’s site designs are made using open source software under the [license]. By default your site’s metadata is stored locally. By using iCloud storage you can free up space by [...]. To view your site’s [...]. To export your site to a third party host or personal server [...].”

    And, “sites on Apple Web come in [e.g.] 4 types [...] which can be customized by either using the [GUI based] Web Editor with [cool features] or by generating a unique site design using [machine learning techniques, etc.]—no two sites will look the same [or 1/large number chance].”


    I think not having to choose a site name or user name before getting on the web is important.

    The current options for publishing to the web for the average user are [basically] either social media (InstaFaceweb, Twitweb, Youweb, Redweb/Hackerweb/Disqweb, and—I suppose—Ver-Yah-Tumweb), traditional web fora (here, avs forum, etc.), or blogging platforms (, Squareweb, and—I suppose—Blogger).

    I think Apple can do better. Decide on a site type or page style they think people want to use (blog, about page (“profile”), whatever), and strip it down to its essence, allow you to make it pretty or unique if you want, and empower you to take it elsewhere if you outgrow it.

    I think this will give them a rich avenue on which to iterate and add features, and if successful, give them influence on the direction the web takes. (They should really think about an Apple search engine too.)
  2. Shirasaki macrumors G3


    May 16, 2015
    Well, I would say, even if Apple can do such thing, it won’t necessarily do it better than existing platforms. Plus such counts more server bandwidth.
    Can Microsoft make an application of every single category we could ever imagine and does better than existing third party apps? Yes. But they don’t need to.
  3. jjjjjooooo thread starter Suspended

    Sep 15, 2017
    It seems intuitive to me that by default being able to put something on the web should be a basic feature.

    Their server costs would be paid by their iCloud-like pricing scheme. In this scenario they’re only offering the free tier to get you to try it, get you hooked, and “network effects” i.e. get you to tell others to try it.
  4. Shirasaki macrumors G3


    May 16, 2015
    Based on the popularity of this post, I doubt most people would like to have this feature on a future iOS. Also, Facebook, Instagram etc already has an overwhelming network effect. People just launch the app, share their contents, and others will find those contents.

    Another factor is, based on my iCloud usage, I highly doubt Apple could figure out how to properly publish stuff without messing up. I deleted a large amount of photos from my iCloud Photo Library quite a while ago, and now the Mac desperately tries to sync this change to the cloud. Guess what? After a full month, Mac still struggle to do so, and eats up my cpu time every time I use Mac. If Apple ever has such feature, I would not try to use it.
  5. jjjjjooooo, Feb 10, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018

    jjjjjooooo thread starter Suspended

    Sep 15, 2017
    Not sure the popularity of this post is a reliable metric for what most people would want.


    It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.

    — Steve Jobs

    I clarified what I meant by “network effects” (it’s more that they don’t want to prevent a network effect—by not having a free tier—than that they would need to create one), but Facebook’s ad-driven business model appears to depend on maintaining a walled garden, Apple Web would (in theory) have no ads and so any Facebook-like features could be as interoperable as they could (and would want to) make them.

    Facebook is also famous for asking everyone for their contacts but Apple could emphasize that you don’t really need Facebook because you already have all your contacts on your phone and could make it easier to share with groups of contacts and exchange contact info.

    Apple Web would (in theory) be like how Apple developed WebKit and made a great browser on top of it and even for a while made a version of it for Windows but Google came and took WebKit and made Chrome and eventually forked WebKit, but Apple is presumably not going to stop making Safari because people can “just launch Chrome and find content.”
  6. CTHarrryH macrumors 68000

    Jul 4, 2012
  7. jjjjjooooo thread starter Suspended

    Sep 15, 2017
    Why is that, do you have your own blog?
  8. spooklog macrumors regular


    Aug 10, 2015
    New Hampshire
    Well, Apple used to have iWeb for the Mac. I thought that was a decent out-of-the-box publishing solution for ordinary folks...but they discontinued it. Personally I think an iOS web publishing app is an excellent idea.
  9. Moonjumper macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    I made my first website with iWeb. It was easy to use and the result looked good in comparison to my skill level. I wish it was still around.
  10. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    There is an app/service called Universe ( you should check out. They've been around for awhile now (recently got featured in the App Store even) and have a gallery of some of the sites people are making with their system.
  11. jjjjjooooo thread starter Suspended

    Sep 15, 2017
    Yeah, I chose the name “Web” as an homage to iWeb in line with Apple’s current naming scheme, e.g. removing the “i” from iBooks.
  12. matthewv1227 macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2014
    Are you looking to only post photos? This can be done with iCloud photo sharing by simply creating a shared album and then checking the option for "make public website."
  13. jjjjjooooo, Feb 11, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018

    jjjjjooooo thread starter Suspended

    Sep 15, 2017
    Thanks, looks cool!

    Here ( is the link to the App Store article, but it appears limited—at least for now—to what they call “landing pages” (for example they recommend linking to YouTube or Vimeo for videos longer than 3 seconds, and while they do have one “post” on their main site (where I found the App Store link), they use Medium (a site I forgot about—one too many floating “open in app” buttons perhaps—and should have included above) for their own blog).

    Also, I think Apple should avoid the third party domain system: your site’s visitors will—in theory—know when they see “” (or whatever) that they can trust the site as much as they trust Apple (however much that may be).

    And while you can use a third party domain (with Universe), I don’t think you can export your site to a third party host. With my conception of “Web” it could be emphasized that you own your site’s design.

    Finally, I think (with “Web”) more emphasis should be placed on a universal core design (per site type) that you can customize, but only if you want to, i.e. rather than designing being front and center, publishing is.

    To the extent OnUniverse moves beyond landing pages I’d guess it would be more in the direction of a social platform like Tumblr than a more general publishing tool.
    Thanks, I’d forgotten about this!

    I just tried it again. If they eased up on the Apple branding it could be a good quick and dirty way to share a photo, but doesn’t seem like a good long term home for someone on the web (and digging into the Photos app for this purpose strikes me as a little too cumbersome).

    Also, it appears to by default publish your name (or at least the name associated with your Apple ID—I’ll have to look into this more later), which may or may not be a good way to go.

    I think (with “Web” at least) it should be that your name is your generic iCloud domain by default, but they could require you use a real name or Apple ID when you personalize your domain (which you never have to do).

    But no, I just used a photo as an example.
  14. NoBoMac, Feb 11, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018

    NoBoMac macrumors 68020


    Jul 1, 2014
    There is a axiom in the business world that some follow re: if you can't be in the top three or two in a field, don't bother pursuing the business. The original post pretty much shot down why Apple should pursue: lots of others out there that already own the space.

    Websites, unless business need, are dead with other social platforms out there. And great example of this is Google+: config issues aside, never got close to being the Facebook competitor they wanted.

    And as others have pointed out, Apple killed iWeb: Apple already saw the writing on the wall with that. And they have a pretty good track record with that (eg. floppy, optical media).

    Add in cross platform issues (eg. heck more Android, Windows users out there), why would one want to sign onto a narrow focus social media content service?

    ADD: iCloud as backup/sync service for users tied to the environment is one thing, expanding to others...
  15. jjjjjooooo, Feb 11, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018

    jjjjjooooo thread starter Suspended

    Sep 15, 2017
    Lots of others were doing music streaming prior to June 30, 2015.

    Apple would—ultimately—make “Web” to sell more hardware (at least I hope that would be the case).

    Blogging still seems pretty vibrant to me (ymmv). (Is Squarespace still running tons of ads? They must think there is something to be had.)

    Google+ was, more or less, a clone of Facebook, that required real names at launch, and didn’t, to my knowledge, allow customization of any kind. They didn’t have an iCloud-like pricing scheme, and while ad-free at launch, was presumably a future vector for ad delivery.

    At the time Google also had (still has—I suppose) Blogger. And Google Reader. And Google Sites. Maybe others I don’t know about. Maybe if they hadn’t neglected these, or had a more coherent vision, or better marketing.

    iWeb sites were actually really nice (and fast), but, I think, were basically static desktop webpages and so Apple would likely have needed to rewrite the entire thing anyway. And so it may have been a question of priorities or wanting to wait and see how things develop before stepping back into the market.

    It would (in my conception) be focused on publishing first, not social. It would also (IMC) be built using (as much as possible) open source software, allowing you (and Android and Windows users) to use it (or a basic version of it) with third party services (alternatively they could go the Apple Music/iTunes route).

    Apple users would use Web because it would be nicely integrated with the Apple ecosystem and pre-installed on their device.

    (Someone on another thread requested they integrate social functionality into the largely redundant Contacts app (the entire app seems to also exist in the Phone app), which may be a good idea. It would allow Web to stay focused on publishing.

    So perhaps: News (web reading), Safari (web browsing), Web (web publishing), Contacts (web sharing).

    “ADD”? Does that mean “edited to add”?

    I’m not sure I follow what this is trying to say, but Apple would make Web because if its users only options for publishing online are third parties they can use on any platform, then they’re less likely to stay with Apple.

    And also Google or perhaps someone they weren’t expecting will eventually take another shot at it and they don’t want to be caught unprepared.

    Also, people like Facebook will eventually try to come for them—as Amazon has (e.g. Facebook is reported to be working on 15-inch smart screen device).
  16. jjjjjooooo thread starter Suspended

    Sep 15, 2017
    It has occurred to me that the [basic] design of the Notes app could be adapted into Web.

    Notes itself could possibly perform a more basic variation on the idea. Which could be separated out later in the manner of iTunes (still pending).
  17. jjjjjooooo thread starter Suspended

    Sep 15, 2017
    Came across this in a comment by a former AppKit engineer (

    Via Daring Fireball (
  18. dwfaust macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    Tell it to Apple:
  19. jhuynh macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2012
    I don't think most users care about having a website to publish to. Majority of the population is fine with Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/YouTube/"app of the moment" for publishing their photos/videos.
  20. jjjjjooooo thread starter Suspended

    Sep 15, 2017
    It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.

    — Steve Jobs

    Yeah, I was planning to after a few more days.
  21. MEJHarrison macrumors 65816

    Feb 2, 2009
    I was just having a similar conversation with someone over the weekend. It suddenly occurred to me that people don't build personal sites like they used to. 15 years ago I knew tons of people who had their own sites. These days I know no one. And I'm a web developer.

    The problem with that quote is that you're not showing something new to people. You're talking about showing them something old. They've already seen it. The vast majority have already moved on to better solutions (Facebook or the like). It lets them do most of what they did previously without worrying about paying for the site, designing pages, getting the URL out to friends, uploading content, backups or any of the other hassles that go with maintaining a personal site.

    As I mentioned, I'm a web developer. So I'd love a free site to go play on when the mood strikes. But for the general public? Sorry, I just don't see it being as popular as you seem to think it would be. I think the world was already there 10-20 years ago and they're not interested in returning.
  22. jjjjjooooo, Feb 13, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018

    jjjjjooooo thread starter Suspended

    Sep 15, 2017
    15 years ago people were paying for OS updates on disc, YouTube didn’t exist, cloud backup/syncing barely existed, Netflix had less than a million subscribers (and wouldn’t start streaming until 2011), and over 20 million people were paying for AOL.

    Perhaps significantly Myspace was founded on August 1st of that year.

    It doesn’t have to be new so much as done right.

    Assuming building personal sites really was stastically more common in the past, I would guess it would have maxed out at around 1-5% of the population.

    I think a major advantage of what I’m proposing is that the user is assigned an address automatically, as they would be when signing up for Facebook, but because Apple would already have your Apple ID etc., there would be even less friction than Facebook had in getting started.

    If done right they could run “what’s a U-R-L” ads.

    Also, again, I think design/customization should be an add on feature, i.e. specifically and emphatically not essential to the service. Apple would manage the basic design and maintenance.
  23. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011


    ICloud photostream shares can publish photo galleries to a public website.
  24. jjjjjooooo thread starter Suspended

    Sep 15, 2017
    Yeah, this was brought up upthread.
  25. thewhitehart macrumors 6502a


    Jul 9, 2005
    The town without George Bailey
    About ten years ago, I used to publish a blog I made using RapidWeaver to my .Mac iDisk. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure I could use my own domain with it. Either that, or I pointed my own domain to it. The ability to publish a website existed under .Mac via the iDisk.

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