As you probably know there are many frameworks that allow you to develop native iOS apps with the interfaces designed with HTML/CSS.
The big question then is how do you create that app’s interface? Sencha Touch is one possibility.
I’ve found a tutorial that goes into detail on how to design a great looking mobile web app that looks like a native one using HTML/CSS using the Sencha Touch library that looks and feels just like a native app. What I really like about the tutorial is that it goes through the design process step-by-step.
The tutorial is from Jen Gordon who’s set of beginner native iOS app design tutorials I previously mentioned.
You can find the tutorial here:
Create An HTML/CSS Mobile Web App Using Sencha Touch
You can test out an expanded version of the app built in the tutorial here (use your iPhone):
This information is great to know not just for web apps, but a useful guide if you plan on creating a native app using a wrapper framework like Phonegap.
Now, this is something that I haven’t coded myself because I haven’t run into a situation where I was using a web app that needed to add functionality not already implemented within Phonegap when working with Iphone web app code. However, the author of QuickConnect has an excellent tutorial on doing this here.
I can think of several reasons.
1. You’ve already written an Iphone web app, but want to expand your reach by placing your app in the app store.
2. You are or are working with web developers who don’t understand Objective-C and are unwilling or unable to learn how to use Objective-C.
4. You want to interact with web services, and find it cumbersome to do so using Objective-C code.
The third and fourth reasons are why I’m interested in this type of development. I like Objective-C development, but writing the code to interact with different web services can really be tedious, and there are many more examples and libraries available for doing this using Ajax. Also, every platform seems to be coming out with an app store.
On to the topic at hand.
[NSString stringWithFormat:@"update_position(%@, %@);", latitude, longitude]];
The second framework I’m going to introduce you to today is QuickConnect Iphone. QuickConnect allows you to develop using Havascript, HTML, and CSS, and provides detailed instructions on how to develop using Apple’s excellent visual web app development tool Dashcode, and turn those into “native” apps. An added benefit is that apps can also run on several other platforms, and maybe even for the likes of Predeveloper it will run on the Palm Pre too. I haven’t seen QuickConnect being used in an app yet, and I’ve only gone through a couple of the tutorials on the author’s blog.
The third framework is Big5. This framework does not seem as far along as Phonegap or QuickConnect, but it does supply the user with the ability to use the camera, location services, and accelerometer. However, I mention it here because it is very easy to use. The instructions however are somewhat limited in how to get your app to the app store, because the author wants you to load it up in the “Big5App”.
To sum things up, the 3 frameworks are:
Phonegap – Mature, used in many apps, works with Iphone, Blackberry and Android.
QuickConnectIphone – In beta, works with Iphone, Android, Linux, Php, and Mac.
Big5 – Mature, somewhat limited functionality, works through Big5App on Iphone.
Is that a big deal? My answer would be no.