The future of Web 2.0 apps is bright! ...I hope...

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by mparkes, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. mparkes macrumors member


    Aug 29, 2007
    Spangle, WA
    Apple is obviously determined to see that Web 2.0 apps are the chosen development environment for the iPhone, at least at this point. I suspect this was part of the reason for the 1.1.1 lockdown. Forcing developers to write to mobile safari and abandon the foolishness of trying to develop native apps! :)

    It would be nice if Web 2.0 apps could in fact accomplish the same functionality and efficiency as native apps. Maybe we'll get there eventually. One problem (apart from functional limitations of the web apps themselves) is the speed at which the web app can be accessed. Mobile devices should be very "responsive", and avoid encumbering the user with too many steps to achieve productive ends. Case in point... one of the most convenient apps (and probably the only one I really miss from my Palm T3) was the sketch app. Palm's freehand sketch utility was a wonderful way to quickly (emphasis on quickly) jot down a note, phone number, idea... whatever, on the fly. How many steps to launch the app?


    Click one button on the Palm and - bingo - sketch app availble and ready to be used. (you could even just write just using your fingernail if you didnt want to grab the sylus!)

    Now, assume for a moment that it is even possible to create this in a web 2.0 app. How many steps, how many hoops will the user to have to jump through to use this web sketch utility - also assuming a halfway decent EDGE or WIFI connection?

    Let's start counting.

    1 - click button to turn phone on
    2 - move slider
    3 - Launch mobile safari (if on the home screen, otherwise add a step)
    4 - click bookmark button (we'll assume it is bookmarked)
    5 - scroll though bookmarks until web app is located - if you are taken to "History" instead of bookmarks then add a step.
    6 - Touch URL to launch ( in all fairness 5 and 6 could be one step I suppose).
    7 - Wait for the app to load... while this isn't a step it does point out the one major disadvantage of the Web over native apps - that of time to delivery of the app.

    So we have 5-7 (or more) steps on the "advanced" iPhone compared to the antiquated Palm's ONE?! Now, there is no way I am going back to my Palm over the iPhone, (although I still keep it around "just in case!"). But it does serve to point out just how cumbersome web apps can be on the iphone. Maybe apple will eventually create a launch pad of some sort for selected web apps... create an alias that lives on the desktop of the iPhone... maybe... that would help.

    Also, the Palm would automatically SAVE your work upon powering off the device. I have my doubts ANY Web 2.0 app is going to save anything if you just close the session without first saving your work. (So add a few steps for that as well!)

    I look forward to seeing what can be created in mobile Safari. I am sure many developers are pursuing this path. And hopefully Apple can figure out how to deliver them in less than 5-7 steps!
  2. bdj21ya macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2006
    Sorry, but whatever they do, the development will be quite lame now that we've tasted 3rd party apps. I'd still be excited to see a Safari with the libraries to do ANYTHING like the UIKit apps, but even then it would be a far cry from opening the power of the iPhone to developers.

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