I can’t resist. My take on Steve Jobs’ keynote at WWDC yesterday.
iPhone Development is Web Development
So Steve says: “Want to write apps for the iPhone? Make them AJAX-enabled web apps. They’ll execute in the safari runtime, and we’ll give you some extra APIs so you can do stuff like make the phone call someone.” This is a pretty bold move, and to me it illustrates the following points:
- AJAX is ready for prime time for many apps. Well, when Google released Google Docs and Spreadsheets we knew the gig was up. You can just approach a web app like a desktop GUI app if you want, and there are more and more toolkits to allow you to do it if you wish. Additionally, with Flash you can pretty much take care of whatever you can’t do with AJAX and DHTML.
- Safari is the sandbox. Way back in the Web 1.0 days, we had Java applets, and we liked them. Actually we hated them. But they did have a good security model baked in: they could only operate in side a secure “sandbox” where they had limited access to the resources of the system, preventing the viral spread of malware that was propagated by certain Redmond-based software companies. Sandboxing the apps into Safari is actually a pretty good security decision for an environment of transmitted apps on mobile networks.
Safari is iTunes
Safari is to the iPhone as iTunes is to the iPod. That’s why its now available to Windows. All Apple software is marketed with the intention of adding value to their hardware platforms (where they make their real money). iTunes is available on both Mac and Windows not to add value to Windows, but because its real platform is the iPod. In this case – the platform for Safari isn’t so much Mac or Windows, its the iPhone. Let me say that again: Safari is the iPhone runtime.
Dashboard Widgets are Also Web Development. On Safari.
I think this is a good indication of where Apple is headed for network-device development. They are basically saying that Safari/WebKit is the network runtime, and that they will extend that to expose the capabilities of the individual devices. They will have “gateway” software like iTunes and Safari which will run on whatever personal computer OS is handy, and that will provide added value to the real hardware platforms: the iPhone and the iPod.