Friday, March 7th, 2008

iPhone SDK for Web Developers

Category: iPhone

Man, I was wrong in my post on what about us? and the iPhone SDK. All I knew about was the VP of Phone Software saying “we have stuff coming”, but there is a lot more that that, it is just not mentioned in many places.

If you head over to the iPhone DevCenter (registration required) you will find a video titled “iPhone SDK for Web Developers” that goes into detail.

When you watch it you will see a ton of great stuff:

  • Gestures: ongesturestart, ongesturechange, on gestureend
  • Other actions: pinching, rotating, swiping
  • Full screen mode (no more chrome)
  • A lot of the cool stuff from WebKit nightlies (HTML 5 goodness)

Fantastic news. For a minute I worried that Apple would try to lure in us Web folk to learn Objective-C and Cocoa to grow that platform, but it looks like they are giving the mobile Web love as well as the native APIs. You just have to fork up $99.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 5:40 pm

4.2 rating from 38 votes


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Wrong again! You do NOT have to fork up $99. The SDK is *free*. The $99 is for native apps, to be distributed via iTunes, not web applications that you will host on your own.

Comment by kward — March 7, 2008

So… now we will be seeing web apps that will only work on 1 mobile platform? Great, just what we need.

Comment by JustinCarter — March 8, 2008

JustinCarter, hopefully the same “graceful degradation” practices are used. Obviously there will be plenty of devs who use DashCode and spit out iPhone-only sites but the rest of us can integrate the new capabilities into our sites which will still work on desktop and other mobile phones.

Comment by paulmwatson — March 8, 2008

It’s great to see the DashCode has been upgraded to handle a lot of the cool page effects we were seeing on the iPhone version of Facebook – but it’s odd that it’s not easy to find any written documentation on the new features.

That said, you can find documentation, or at least examples on the WebKit site – which I assume 1.1.4 upgrades MobileSafari and pulls in the new features of WebKit.

Comment by remy — March 8, 2008

Hi Justin, since WebKIT (AKA Safari) is used in Google Android, AIR, QT and many other frameworks developing a WebApp for iPhone should be easily transferable to other projects. It seems that offline mode for web apps like described in HTML5 is also to come, so forget the SDK and write web apps for the iPhone if you don’t need the camera and accelerators ;)

Comment by perenzo — March 10, 2008

I dont think this stuff has made it into iphone or ipod touch safari yet, eg svg doesnt work. So you would need to spend $99 and live in the USA and be chosen by Apple, to perhaps see this tech on the iphone using the 2.0 firmware beta, if this stuff is included in the beta.

Best bet for now is to get webkit nightly build and start playing with svg and the accelerated css transforms. Ive had a little play and the results are very smooth, if a little cpu-intensive. Full svg animation support doesnt seem to have been finished in webkit yet either. I’ll post some basic samples later.

If Apple manage to pull off iphone hardware acceleration of the css transforms, then we may well be looking at a mobile platform that can handle DHTML animation with reasonable results. I assume this is Apples answer to Flash and Silverlight, and it has some potential.

Comment by SteveElbows — March 10, 2008

SlideShare of the presentation given by Mr. Malone…

Comment by tyanon — March 11, 2008

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