Web apps are key for wannabe iPhone developers
Web apps are key to wannabe iPhone developers
Steve Jobs's final "One Last Thing" announcement at the WWDC keynote today had to do with the iPhone. Instead of announcing a third-party developer kit like many thought he would, he encouraged the use of Web 2.0 and AJAX applications to be run entirely from the Safari browser (Which coincides nicely with the other announcement of a Windows version of Safari). Apple even demonstrated something called Apple Directory, a Safari Web application that lets you look up business contact cards. There's also a Google application that pulls up map and satellite imagery when a street address is tapped. The upside to this is that developers can start developing mobile applications for the iPhone right away, and security won't be as much of an issue. But we can't help but wonder if the reliance on Web applications may be a little bit of a handicap, especially since the current incarnation of the iPhone is capped out at EDGE speeds and Web access isn't always available everywhere. Still, this is great news for the Web 2.0 community, and at least developers have a little something to play around with before the iPhone launch on June 29.
Update: We were informed by a few readers that one might not need a constant Internet connection to use these so-called web apps. They may be developed much like web apps, but they would be stored locally on the iPhone while using the Safari browser as a runtime environment. Definitely interesting, and we'll keep you posted on anything else we learn about this.