web application as iphone native apps

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by nawmobile, May 13, 2009.

  1. nawmobile macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2009
    Hello All,

    I have been following up the intriguing topics discussed in this forum and have decided to join in today as a member. I have bought myself an iPhone recently and was faced with lot of queries that I wish to ask as I pursue my quest to iPhone development.

    I'm a programmer and have developed a number of native being stand-alone software and web applications as well. I am a quick learner and wish to get exposed to iPhone development. I have few questions to ask and would like your kind advise to shed some light on.

    1) What's the main difference between iPhone apps and iPhone web apps. Are they just the same, with different name. Probably a good way to answer would be, what can't you do in iPhone apps or web apps, and can they both be published in iTunes?

    2) I want to start developing iPhone apps. Where to go to find the toolkit, tutorial, demos, and also the SDK.

    3) This is the most important one. We have a secured web application (website) which is accessed over https. The web application allows our customers to log-in (if they have a user account) and check their bills, so as call history, etc. The web application was built using ASP.net and connects to the billing server via web services. The question is, what would it take to develop the web application as an Iphone native apps, and then publish/upload this iPhone apps on iTunes. Is it possible, if yes, how, if not, why? The outcome we are looking at is, having an application, published on iTunes, that would mimic the web application, and allow customers to view their bills, get call history, etc as if they are using the web application. Right now, customers would go to https://webapplications to log-in and then view their bills and call history. What we want is the customers, to have same functionality, but use iPhone apps (which can be downloaded from iTunes). Is that possible.

    Thank you in advance Team.
  2. Ivan P macrumors 68030

    Ivan P

    Jan 17, 2008
    A web app is one that can only be accessed using an internet browser (so, on the iPhone, Safari). It is pretty much just a website that has been optimised to be used on the iPhone - before the App Store it was the only way to play games but, obviously, you couldnt save your progress or scores or anything (and they were very crappy games anyway). An actual iPhone app is one that is available on the App Store in iTunes and can be installed to the device itself.
  3. nawmobile thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2009
    Thanks, but does that mean, I can develop a web application as an iPhone apps, and then upload the apps into iTunes for our customers to use, access and see their bills and call history? What I really need to know is iPhone apps vs web Apps, and if iPhone apps has any limitation or restriction as far as creating a web application. Is it possible? That's what I really would love to know. Thanks

    What about the rest questions I asked :)?
  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    An iPhone app is not a web app. Stop confusing them. A web app is deployed to a web server that you own/rent/whatever and the user accesses through Safari on the phone. It can do what any normal web page can do and little more. It cannot be uploaded to iTunes, sold through the app store or anything like that.

    iPhone apps don't "create web applications" so the question about restrictions is meaningless.

    2) You find all the documentation, SDK etc at developer.apple.com as a 1ms Google Search would have told you

    3) This whole "develop web app as native app" is meaningless. You can develop a native application that communicates with a web service if that is what you mean
  5. jtbullet macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2009
    Maybe he is asking if he can sell an app that accesses his custom built web app?
  6. nawmobile thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2009
    Ok, here is what I exactly want to do and need your advise if possible or not.

    1) We have a website that has been developed using ASP.net
    2) The website allows users to access the application to check their mobile bills, call logs, etc.
    3) The website is accessible via https protocol (secured)
    4) You can only access the website if you have an account, username + password.
    5) The website uses web services to pass messages from the ASP.net to the internal billing systems that sends back and forth information about the account (customer/user)

    Requirement from the website above:

    1) I want to create an iPhone application and then post it in iTunes. I want customers to be able to find the application in iTunes, download, and then be able to connect to our website. So basically is it possible, if I create an iPhone apps to do that?

    2) If not, then why it is not possible, and if it is possible, how should I go about it?

    3) If not, can I create a web apps then, which is accessible via Safari, if not, what is the reason?

    All in all, the objective is to create an iPhone native apps, publish in iTunes, and let customers see how cool we are, by having an iPhone application simplifiying accessing and checking their details, etc as if they do it on a normal desktop.

    Is that possible?
  7. Jeremy1026 macrumors 68020


    Nov 3, 2007
    Are you just going to keep asking the same questions until you get the answers you want?
  8. nawmobile thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2009
    To be frank, YES :) I would really like to know if I could do that and how and straight forward answers, i.e. developing iPhone apps which could utilize web services etc as explained in my Qs.
  9. cis4life macrumors regular

    Apr 4, 2008

    What you are asking can be done. Actually it really easy. You simply need a UIWebView and tie it to an URL. There's many apps in the app store that are more or less web apps inside a iphone app shell.

    Look up UIWebView in the documentation(which is basically just a safari window inside a iphone app).

  10. nawmobile thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2009
    Thanks for sheding light and advise on UIWebView. Is there a GUI development toolkit with some samples to start working on, for iPhone SDK?
  11. omniinvoice macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2008
  12. cis4life macrumors regular

    Apr 4, 2008
    In reference to your GUI question.

    YES, once you download and install the iphone SDK, you will have a couple programs available to you.

    1.) XCode: this is where you will write your code to your application.
    2.) Interface Builder aka IB: This is where you will layout the controls/look and feel of your application.

    With those 2 programs you can accomplish what you are wanting to do.

    There are a couple of good books on amazon that can get you started with the whole iphone development process. One is...
    1.) Iphone Development For Dummies: pretty good to start with.
    2.) Iphone Development Explorering The SDK: (I believe thats the title) and its REAL good to start with

    You will have to know Objective-C and the COCO Framework (COCO TOUCH for the iphone and ipod touch). I am also a professional computer programmer by profession (I develop with PHP and .NET(C#):For web and desktop apps) and Objective-C wasn't too difficult to get into to (I should mention I have had extensive work with Java and C++ so they REALLY helped to get me familiar with the Obj-C lang.)

    But start there, and as many here have said, the apple documentation is priceless. I whole Mac / iphone / ipod touch SDK is HUGE and the only way to work through it is really hop onto a REALISTIC and simple project to start with and as you work your way through the app, look up the object you need to look at what methods, variables, and delegates you have available to you to use.

    Hope this helps,
  13. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    Let me just say that if all you are doing is providing your users a web view to a site that they could just as easily access via Mobile Safari, you are probably missing out on an opportunity. Study the capabilities of various native iPhone apps and see if there is some extra incentive you can provide your users via your app vs. just going to the website directly. I.E. give them a reason to want to choose your app.
  14. adamthulla macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2009
    Help regarding web application as iphone native app

    Hey nawmobile..

    Did you get your website worked as iPhone native app? If so, how?
    I'm also trying to do similar thing for my website but, unable to get through it to start with. Can you suggest me some ideas regarding this problem..

    Is that possible to develop a native app for website?

    Any sort of help is much appreciated.

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