iPhone development the easy way

iphone Update 8/7/2010 PhoneGap apps are still being allowed in the app store! It’s not the right solution for every app (for example we went native with the Common Sense Media app), but I still think PhoneGap is really cool.

I’ve been doing some iPhone and iPod Touch development and if like me you’re used to web development in languages like Ruby, Java, and Python, the learning curve to build a native iPhone app in Objective C is quite steep. Since my applications are online (in that you need to be connected for them to be useful) I was pysched to find a much easier way using two great open-source tools:

iUI consists of Javascript/CSS/images that allow you to build a mobile version of your app that looks and feels just like a native iPhone app

PhoneGap lets you create an iPhone application (that can be submitted to the app store) that displays a framed mobile version of your site

To build your iPhone app:

1. Make an iPhone/iPod Touch friendly version of your site with iUI (which your users can access in mobile safari)

2. Bundle it as an iPhone application (so the user has an app store version they can install) using PhoneGap and submit it to the app store. What’s even better is that with PhoneGap you can also target Blackberry and Android devices.

As a web developer I’m not sure how they could make it any easier for me, sweet! Plus you get the double exposure of the app store or when users visit your site with their iPhones they get the mobile version of your site.

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