Building Rich Internet Applications for the iPhone

Building Rich Internet Applications for the iPhone

Summary: So we don't have Flash or Java but that doesn't mean that there aren't a lot of cool ways to build Rich Internet Applications for the iPhone. The fact that we have a full implementation of Safari means that there is a lot of browser power on the iPhone.

TOPICS: Browser, iPhone, Mobility

So we don't have Flash or Java but that doesn't mean that there aren't a lot of cool ways to build Rich Internet Applications for the iPhone. The fact that we have a full implementation of Safari means that there is a lot of browser power on the iPhone. As I've gotten deeper into AIR and done things like training session with the team from Ext, I've gotten a lot more respect for what Ajax is capable of and how fast Safari is. The success of iPhoneDevCamp showed that there is a ton of interest and a lot of smart people already working on apps. So what can you do to build RIAs on your iPhone?

Right now a lot of people seem to be using Joe Hewitt'siUI JavaScript framework that is pretty cool. From what I heard it was used to build a lot of the apps at iPhoneDevCamp and it was behind the recently released Digg iPhone version.

OpenLaszlo, which has been around the RIA world for a long time, added support for DHTML/JavaScript in OpenLaszlo 4. That meant that the iPhone was a logical jump and they demoed an OpenLaszlo application that ran on the iPhone. So with OpenLaszlo you can build Flash applications, DHTML applications and now iPhone applications all from the same basic code base. That's pretty compelling.

Thanks to Jason for the image

Topics: Browser, iPhone, Mobility

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  • Java is part of the hardware

    Back in the day of Microsoft anti-trust, embedded Java was expected to be placed into small appliances. Apparently iPhone is such a device.

    I find it hard to believe that the embedded Java is turned off because that would mean less than full Internet browser capability. It would be like dream cast. Furthermore many of the AT&T phones are currently Java enabled. This is often used for Java games. Furthermore a Flash Java version is just around the corner by my reckoning.

    Lets assume Java will be available for Rich Internet Application for the iPhone (most likely applets) until told by the manufacturer otherwise. Common Sense dictates this, in spite of AJAX.
  • Java via GotomyPC and via Citric; Applets - the end of .Net

    Think it through. Consumers will want to access their office and home computers via the iPhone. To do that with GotomyPC you need Java applet support. To do that with Citric you need to download a client if you do not use Java.

    If the iphone browser doesn't yet support Java it is a no brainer that it soon will because Java is embedded in the device. Java Applets are the future by this analysis because they represent a way where Jobs remains correct for the most part. Applets would reside on the iPhone only until flushed from cache. Of course Java is pervasive on the servers iPhone accesses.
  • I Have Doubts About the iPhone

    I?m beginning to wonder how successful the iPhone can become. I think Apple will run into the same problem as the Sony Playstation 3 ? a product that is too expensive for a price sensitive market. I don?t think MS has too much to worry about, but should continue to spruce up Windows Mobile ? making it more intuitive to use and elegant, and getting it into cheaper and cheaper handsets. I think the handset market will play out very similar to the PC market, with Windows performing well because of its more open architecture, and its more diverse set of devices.
    P. Douglas
    • Forgetting something?

      I don't think the iPhone can be equated to the PC market. The reason why MS won out on the desktop was because at the time there was no other viable option. No other OS manufacture had the ability or the willingness to do what MS did. Because they got in early they succeeded.

      We are in a whole new era of computing. While only a decade later it is a totally different world. We can see this in the music world. Windows media player is the most popular player in the world if you look at total number of installs. (Mainly because all Windows computers come loaded with it) The WMA and WMV formats are open to companies to use and build upon. What is the third largest Music retailer in the US? What is the most popular Music player in the US (world for that matter)? Apple has their software and hardware closed off but has managed to secure the market share.

      I have a feeling the iPhone will see the same success. While it is not the first to the market, like the iPod, it offers an experience the others do not, just like the iPod. It has room for improvement, but it also has a company with an amazing R&D department and very deep pockets that will help facilitate improvements.

      MS has been working on their mobile os for quite a few years now and it really is not where Apple is with their first. While Apple has chosen not to open up theirs, I really don't see that as something that will hold them back.

      Technology aside, never underestimate the power of "Cool". Apple owns it, Microsoft has yet to discover it. Cool always sells.
      • No I'm not

        The PC formula has been applied to phones / PDAs for a number of years with increasing success. The only reason it failed in portable music players was because of the use of restrictive DRM ? which poisoned the devices. Having an open and vibrant ecosystem virtually always beats having a closed system.

        Some people at MS just inexplicably believed that adding the dimension of a very closed, restrictive, and onerous DRM system to an otherwise open portable music player ecosystem, would make good business sense. They were of course proven wrong. Therefore open ecosystems are the best models in markets, and to the extent that Windows Mobile is much more open than the iPhone, it is the odds on favorite to win.
        P. Douglas