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iPhone, iTouch, iSimplicity

Derek Featherstone

September 12, 2007 at 5:42 AM

The iPhone is hot. The announcement of the iTouch (touch screen iPod) bolsters interest in these micro Macs. Yesterday’s announcement of the open source and free SIM unlock for the iPhone may be the event that allows for greater uptake and popularity of the iPhone in the world-wide hand-held market

The list of iPhone apps that are “out there” will continue to grow. Just a week ago we saw a great list of iPhone apps from ModMyiPhone. Right now developing iPhone apps seems to be the thing to do. Bravo for experimentation, innovation, and fun!

I’ve heard this a lot lately, and it is one of my favourite sayings too: just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. As professionals, we should always be looking for wonderfully simple solutions to the problems that we face. I find Jeffrey Zeldman’s tweet timely and appropriate:

That sweet iPhone Twitter client: http://twitter.com/home (iPhone has a browser, remember?)

Thank you for the reminder, Jeffrey!

Comments

Keith

September 12, 2007 at 7:51 AM

It’s true, but the all around mobile version of twitter (http://m.twitter.com/) is much easier to use on a mobile – iPhone or no. :)

The thing that gets me the most about all this “iPhone only” talk is that if you do it correctly you can build iPhone applications that are 100% web standard. That’s what we did with Leaflets. The problem being the iPhone browser is the only mobile browser that will render that correctly, at least as of now. That will change.

There is still the argument that as mobile browsers evolve and become able to better able to display “regular” web pages, etc. it’s fine to not have a “mobile” version of a specific site or application.

The problem with that argument lies in the context. If you compare m.twitter with twitter.com, for example, there is no doubt that in a mobile context, regardless of phone, m.twitter is a better experience.

I don’t think you’ll ever have a great mobile experience unless you serve up a mobile-specific version. Having said that, all too often you’ll see a mobile-specific version of something that simply doesn’t need it. When people sit down to create iPhone- or mobile-specific versions of their web applications or sites, they really need to ask themselves if there is a benefit in the mobile context and if that benefit is worth the effort, etc. Sometimes, as I think is the case with m.twitter, the answer is yes.

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