Apple iPhone to support third-party Web 2.0 applications

Apple today announced that its revolutionary iPhone will run applications created with Web 2.0 Internet standards when it begins shipping on June 29. Developers can create Web 2.0 applications which look and behave just like the applications built into iPhone, and which can seamlessly access iPhone’s services, including making a phone call, sending an email and displaying a location in Google Maps. Third-party applications created using Web 2.0 standards can extend iPhone’s capabilities without compromising its reliability or security.

“Developers and users alike are going to be very surprised and pleased at how great these applications look and work on iPhone,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, in the press release. “Our innovative approach, using Web 2.0-based standards, lets developers create amazing new applications while keeping the iPhone secure and reliable.”

Web 2.0-based applications are being embraced by leading developers because they are far more interactive and responsive than traditional web applications, and can be easily distributed over the Internet and painlessly updated by simply changing the code on the developers’ own servers. The modern web standards also provide secure data access and transactions, like those used with or online banking.


  1. The whining is predictable. Let ’em whine for they have no vision. While I am fully agreed that Apple and AT&T are doing lots of stuff to meet their business models (duh!), these constraints are also leading to new ways of doing things. And these new ways, albeit baby steps, will lead to larger changes.

    Apple is embracing web-based apps as the way of the future, especially on constrained handheld but connected platforms. (Note that Apple has a flourishing local rich apps business in Final Cut, etc.) This concept is actually not even new, even MS has gone this route with Live, except for those who insist on having local apps on smartphones. But this is like getting rid of floppy drives and going to USB.

    And it’s just a matter of time before Leopard’s QuickLook and Back to the .Mac comes to the iPhone, and you’ll be able to access and view documents from your home Mac from anywhere in the world. Now about that missing video-out…

  2. Unlike the close-minded whiners, Alec and Ryan really get it. For those who think strategically, Apple is making a huge statement to developers. It really is a Wow! It clearly reveals Eric Schmidt’s role on Apple’s board, and confirms Schmidt’s comments about Apple and Google having common interests.

    But that said, there’s still a very important place for Mac Pros and rich pro app software (and even iMacs and iLife), at least until we can have an octo core and omnipresent 802.11n in a handheld without frying our hands.

  3. @bloo

    u said “so why are you complaining now when you don’t even know how it will be.”

    Apple is not going to include apps on our iPhones that AT&T does not want on theirs.

    i’m unhappy because a deal made for the US will limit what i can do with the iPhone here.

    yes Apple is responsible for this, they know how phones are used all over the world, and the rest of the world is a MUCH bigger market for phones than the USA (15 times larger ?)

  4. Aha! Found the missing video-out.

    It’ll be another $49 Apple gadget, an Apple iPhone dock with power in, and video out to a projector.

    With QuickLook on the iPhone, will I be able to show Keynote transitions??? If yes, then that’ll mean even more revenue, so buy Apple stock!

  5. boo wrote:

    “Oh, and can someone remind of when they said the iPhone is going to be $999? Never heard that.”

    do u really expect the phone to be prized the same in countries were they cannot be locked to a carrier ?

    i’m not 100% certain about the exact figure, but obviously the phone is going to be WAY more expensive than 499, because carriers are just not allowed to have exclusive rights to a phone.

    phones and carriers are like cd’s and cd players, gas and cars over here, no deals.

  6. martin,

    wrong. in the not too distant future, web based apps will be used by more people more often than local apps. and i’ve already said in an earlier post that i still believe and apple believes that local apps are very necessary, just not in a connected handheld device).

    google. yahoo. microsoft. adobe. the first two have way more web-based apps than local apps. the third sees the writing on the wall but is struggling with how to protect its Office money-making cow through the transition. and even the fourth is spending its innovative energy on the web.

    if you plan to make a living developing apps, then you may want to rethink what that means. apple is as it always is and has been and will be – it has a vision of the future, and it will force its developers and users to go along or get lost. so yes, it is telling those few who do not want to follow its vision that they are not welcome. count yourself in or out.

  7. Consider this:

    1. What OS does 3rd party apps run on?
    None – they run on Safari

    2. OK, what does Safari run on?
    OS X

    3. And on what else…?
    Um, Windows XP and Vista

    This isn’t the first post on this, but consider that now iPhone programs will run on the majority platform without modification. Apple takes care of the compatibility via Safari. Windows users now have another way to experience Mac programs, and at no extra cost the developers. And the developers have a much larger market for their wares.

    Very clever.

  8. mark

    web apps have access to a tiny (and controlled) subset of the possibility’s of a computer.

    i like the idea of web apps, but they require a server to provide real services, they don’t allow u to extend the possibilities of the iPhone at all.

    a web interface is the top of the iceberg that is real C code.

    a web 2 application cannot be 3D, u can’t make a web 2 photoshop, iTunes, iPhoto, nothing, u are limited to what HTML allows.

    it’s prehistoric, not progress.

    i’m a developer, i wrote some of mac os x (drag and drop + easy open), what i did just can’t be done with the web at all.

    i completely understand why Apple made this compromise, but it’s just NOT good news.

  9. This is quite the disappointment. It’s non-news… if Apple’s running ads saying the iPhone is the real web then OF COURSE it runs web apps.

    The iPhone had me so excited last week that I was actually about to take the plunge and really learn cocoa/objective C.

    Now I know that it may be a great phone but it’s not a platform. It’s just a phone with a web browser. Yes, more and more can be done in a web browser. But some of us still get excited about the speed and crispness and 100.0% availability of a real live local software app.

    I was excited by the idea of the apps you take with you in your pocket everywhere.

    The iphone looks wonderful, but Apple may have inadvertently movitated me to consider smart phone app development… on phones that really are platforms. Inspried me, then sent me to platform X or platform Y.

    Huge disappointment. I miss the giddy days when Apple made platforms… even the unsuccessful ones (a la Newton).

    So basically I can write iPhone apps by developing web services in .net… not what I had in mind.

    Sorry cocoa. I’m looking for a NEW opportunity.

    Yeah, I’m incredibly bummed.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.