Monday June 27, 2011

Android and the Open Web

Interesting piece by Shi Chuan on Android’s slow adoption of cutting edge browser features compared to Apple’s in iOS. Add this to the last piece I linked to for evidence that Apple takes modern mobile web development very seriously.

I’ve been an advisor and lead developer on several mobile web projects. Indeed, iOS gives the most advanced and consistent experience (for both user and developer), by far. This surprises every one of my clients.

I understand the confusion here. Shouldn’t Apple want to compete against mobile web apps? After all, they detract from the oversight and economic engine of the App Store. I’m often asked if a web app would be a better option because they don’t want to be at the mercy of Apple’s review time. Look at the Financial Times, for example. They didn’t want to bow to the subscription rules.

I don’t know for sure, but I’m willing to bet that Apple doesn’t mind at all what the Financial Times is doing. Right now, this web app works best on iPad, taking full advantage of what Apple exposes to WebKit. Remember, Apple is primarily in the business to sell hardware. Wouldn’t it make sense to build the best modern mobile browser on the planet into their tablets?