Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Mobile Safari - Why am I developing for it?

This is my first post for the new year, 2010, so I thought perhaps to have a look at a new subject (to me). I've been fiddling with some iPhone development so far, brushing up on my Objective C and written a few posts on some of the lessons I've learnt. I also stumbled on an e-book I hadn't read in a while - Professional iPhone and iPod Touch Programming: Building applications for Mobile Safari, by WROX. This got me thinking, why would someone create a safari app, given the richness of the native applications?

The initial attraction I suppose is for those websites that already have an online community and would like to accommodate their mobile browsers. Then there are those whose applications would not be approved by Apple's App Store - on one end of the scale, those pioneers of online business - the purveyors of Adult entertainment a.k.a porn sites and on the other, competitors of Apple e.g Google. Amongst those looking to provide iPhone friendly versions of their websites, a huge chunk are media organisations. Wanting a slice of this market, I've decided to get onto learning how Mobile Safari works. I also expect the launch of the iSlate or whatever the call it, will herald a return to more content / feature driven demand for applications, and this is where some form of web applications will re-emerge. The main draw cards of Web 2.0 - community and content - ultimately belong server-side.

Initial impressions of Mobile Safari are not very promising. There is not much integration with many of the phone's key services but some are promising e.g. Geolocation. One sore point is the inability to directly upload photos. I expect this list to increase on both counts and look forward to interesting posts this year.