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Are iPhone Apps Junking up the Web?

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why can’t iPhone developers just write programs that you could install directly onto the handset? Simple: Apple has yet to cough up a toolkit that would let coders to write software for the iPhone. “In essence,” Gilbertson writes, “Apple has forced a third tier of websites [in addition to standard HTML and WAP] on the world by failing to provide developers with an alternative means of creating applications on the iPhone

On Wired’s Compiler blog, writer Scott Gilbertson likens the recent glut of just-for-iPhone Web sites to a debacle from way back in 1997: sites that were “optimized” for the special, non-HTML-compliant features of Internet Explorer 4, and therefore incompatible with Netscape (IE’s nemesis during the bloody browser wars of the 90’s). 

Gilbertson’s post raises other interesting points: for example, why have these iPhone-optimized sites at all, when the iPhone’s Safari browser promised us “the Internet in your pocket”? Yeah, the iPhone is EDGE-only, but the standard HTML Facebook loads almost perfectly (and in less than a minute) on my iPhone—way better (and faster) than it ever would on my 3G-enabled Treo 700p. And Gilbertson points out that most of these iPhone “apps” aren’t really applications at all: “They just offer the same content as the normal sites, just optimized for the iPhone.”

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August 21, 2007 - Posted by | iPhone Apps

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