Simon Willison’s Weblog

3 items tagged “iphones”

Why is everyone so obsessed with picking faults with Apple’s new maps on the iPhone?

Because this is actually a really big deal. For a lot of people (especially those who live in a big city like London or New York) the maps app is one of the most-used apps on their phone. The new iOS maps are a huge regression, not just in terms of map quality but also in terms of search results. On iOS 6 (at least here in the UK) you can’t even type in a simple address and trust that your phone will show you a pin in the right place.

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Does Facebook’s iPhone app use a proprietary web rendering engine instead of UIWebView?

I did my first bit of iPhone development recently (building the first version of the Lanyrd iPhone app) and there was one thing that came as a huge surprise: the principle reason that people think native apps are “snappier” or “more responsive” than native ones has nothing to do with the rendering performance of a webview vs a native view (especially on the iPhone 4S which is extremely fast).

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Did Apple always plan the (native) App Store, or was it released in response to developer demand?

Personally I’ve always assumed that native apps / the App Store was planned from the start, and the “build apps with HTML” thing Steve Jobs originally promoted was intended as a stop-gap measure (and also to mislead the competition). It’s hard for me to believe that a multi-billion dollar marketplace was accidentally created because developers demanded the ability to create native apps. Also, the quality of the APIs discovered by people who jail broke the iPhone suggests to me that a public API was planned from the start.

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