iPhone Web Apps

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber points to Peter-Paul Koch’s suggestion that iPhone developers should focus on iPhone-optimized web apps. The main reason is freedom–freedom from Apple’s App Store process. Another benefit is cross-functionality with Android and WebOS without having to invest significant time to recode. Koch may be over-optimistic on what is possible with iPhone-optimized web apps:

I reviewed the apps I have on my iPhone, and most can be released as a Web app right now. The exceptions are complex games that are both graphically and programmatically intensive, and apps that depend on device functions such as the accelerometer or GPS.

Gruber disagrees:

There is no way anyone could write an iPhone web app that works as well or feels as good as any of the top native iPhone Twitter clients. You can make an iPhone Twitter client as a web app. You can even make a good one.

Gruber makes a strong point that “good enough” isn’t enough on the iPhone. I would like to suggest that with next-generation GPU-accelerated browsers, Koch’s recommendation might be the way to go. iPhone-optimized web apps will be plenty powerful and maybe good enough will be enough. Source: Daring Fireball

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