Return of the Web Apps?

Is it possible that web apps can return from the dead? It seems to me that the 2.0 firmware pretty much buried the poor web apps six feet under. Even if they are not used nearly as often since we have 3rd party apps along with the App store, it seems as if Apple are quietly tweaking the iPhone for them.

According to a reader over at

One unpublicized feature introduced by Apple's latest iPhone software updates is the ability save Web Apps to the home screen and have them launch in full-screen mode without the Safari wrapper, essentially mimicking the experience of a native app.
The reader also notes that the capability is "only present in Web applications specifically authored to include the full-screen code". Pretty clever trick Apple. But is this enough for you to start using web apps again? Or have you never given up on them even though we have the App Store? We here at TiPb are curious what you think, sound off in the comments! [

Via AppleInsider


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Reader comments

Return of the Web Apps?


In looking at the Demo App's code - i'm seeing some new META tags that may be giving this page the new functionality.
meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width; initial-scale=1.0; maximum-scale=1.0; user-scalable=0;" />

This annoys me, the only justifcation I hear about the fact we have no notifications, cut and paste, turn by turn or any of the other features everyone is waiting for is beacause apple are too busy with important things such as stabalisation. But this is obviously bollox! Why do they have time to improve out of date features that on one has asked for or really cares about, we can easily do without this and the time spent on it could have been used to actually keep iphone users happy. Maybe it didn't take long and was a quick improvement where as the others are quite large but for me it's the principle, apple are momentarily taking our concentration of these features where as they should just be nailing them and releasing them.

WebApps are not at all obsolete or unused. Whereas you can do a lot with the native apps there are some things you just don't need a native app for. Here's an example: Google Reader - is runs perfectly on MobileSafari and does everything it would need to. What Apple did with that full screen web app thingy is not an extraordinary feat, it is just a something that would make more webdevelopers approach the iPhone platform and unlike normal (native apps) developers, the web ones are free to:
1. Create whatever they want (in the constrains of web technology)
2. Do it by using any platform they wish (be it OSX, win or Linux), even if for some platforms Apple offers poor documentation (to be read: training movies for webdevelopers are harder, if not impossible, to view on a linux machine)

I think Web Apps are definitely the future. Native apps run faster, but there are MANY compelling reasons to develop a web application. Objective C is not an easy language to write with, whereas just about anyone can pickup up Rails or PHP in a weekend with a little HTML knowledge. Check out our writeup on the topic over at:

I wish apple would let the user decide which bookmarks they would like to have opened in a fullscreen safari window. I would love to open google reader in fullscreen but google doesn't want to add the feature. I think there rational is that it would confuse those who don't want it in fullscreen.