[thelist] developing for the iPhone

Barney Carroll barney.carroll at gmail.com
Wed Apr 1 16:21:39 CDT 2009

It is possible simply to design your webapp as you normally would using
XHTML, CSS & JS with the iPhone in mind (IA and GUI to cater for specifics
of the iPhone viewport) and use browser-sniffing to provide a website
designed for the medium that works in much the same way as an app. The
advantage with this method is that you 1) can stick to your experience with
existing standardised open technologies, 2) don't have to pay Apple for the
developer's license, rely on proprietary software on a Mac to develop, or
rely on the app store for distribution, and 3) whatever you make can easily
be tweaked (or just left as-is) and run off an Android, Blackberry, other
Opera Mini device, etc (and, lest we forget, personal computers ;).

If you go this way I would point you towards XUIJS [http://xuijs.com/],
which is an ultra-light JS framework developed specifically for mobile
devices, which emulates jQuery in nearly every respect but is much much
lighter, less process-heavy, and crucially has methods to register
mobile-specific events such as orientation change (landscape/portrait
switch), shaking, etc (XUIJS can also easily integrate GPS readings, but
these aren't transmitted via iPhone Safari — however you can use this
feature if you use it as part of an app as detailed below).

If you still think there's a distinct advantage in having an iPhone app
proper — as opposed to a webapp tailored for iPhone (monetization,
geolocation parsing…) — but still like the options detailed above, I would
recommend PhoneGap [http://phonegap.com/].

Barney Carroll
Web designer & front-end developer

web: www.clickwork.net

mobile: +44 (0) 7594 506 381
home: +44 (0) 118 975 0020

twitter: @barneycarroll

2009/4/1 David Kaufman <david at gigawatt.com>

> Hi Sarah,
> Sarah Adams wrote:
> > I'm working on a website specifically designed for use on the iPhone.
> > I'm looking for some good places to go to for information, tips, etc. So
> > far I've found:
> > http://www.iphonewebdev.com/
> > http://developer.apple.com/iphone/
> > Neither of which strikes me as a really great reference, but I'll take
> > what I can get if that's all there is. Can anyone recommend other good
> > places to look?
> Have you read Erica's most excellent article on evolt.org, "Design for
> iPhone: a device that thinks different"?
> Wait, let me google that for you:
> http://lmgtfy.com/?q=design+for+iphone
> Don't let the lead-in fool you.  She bough am iPhone a week before
> writing the article (now 6 months ago), and then she learned more about
> developing for it than I may ever know :-)
> hth,
> -dave
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