Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Apple iPhone and Ajax? Is there something more?

So, I watched the Keynote that Steve Jobs gave at the Developer's Conference and I, as well as many others, was slightly disappointed with Apple's apparent solution to the 3rd party apps problem. Although I was excited to finally get AJAX support on a small device, this announcement isn't very nice to programmers. Programmers well versed in Objective-C would have to learn a whole new system of programming. And we still have the problem of what happens when the phone connection is offline, as it would be on an airplane. What if I wanted to play a game? It is not a good solution.

But.. What if Apple has something up its sleeves that is bigger then all of this? And what if that would require programmers to know about the web 2.0 standards?

Here are the facts:

  • Just last week, Jobs mentions that Apple should have a solution to the 3rd party app problem by the end of the year.
  • Safari now runs on windows. Does Apple really just care about market-share?
  • The iphone runs Ajax... and at this point not much else. This will force many programmers to begin to learn the web 2.0 programming language (everything from HTML to Ruby on Rails and more).
  • They mentioned at these AJAX apps will actually be able to interact with the other built in apps on the phone.
My theory:
I think Apple has something grand hidden in the future. This hidden gem is the ability to program web apps that are completely compatible (and work) with Mac OS X Programs, like Mail, iCal, Pages, and all of the other great Cocoa based apps.

Up to now, I have had to make some big decisions relating to Web 2.0 programs. Do I use a web program or a local-based computer program? What if I can use both? What if I can have all of my iCal information presented in the web 2.0 calendar app of my choice without having to go through the trouble of exporting/importing my calendar. What if it synced automatically? What if my address book was accessable by gmail or another webmail app? What if Mail and a non-.mac email account could stay in sync? And this includes gmail with its conversation message grouping. What if my online photo album could connect with iPhoto (without an annoying plug-in or seperate app). What if there were actually versions of these programs online?

See the power? What if Apple is taking the jump into cyberspace, bridging the gap between the desktop and the web? Web apps offline and desktop apps online. All managed through Safari.

It may be a learning curve for programmers though. They might have to know at least some of both desktop programming and web programming. What better way to get developers going but with iPhone apps built to the web 2.0 standard? And if these phone apps can interact with the phone. Why can't regular AJAX apps interact with the computer?

And once programmers get going on web apps, they will announce that the iPhone can run real 3rd party apps. But all that learning you've done? No that wasn't wasted time....

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