Thinking About iPhone Web Apps for the Enterprise

Apple’s initial iPhone application model (build a decent website) is brilliant. Websites are easily the fastest, most compatible, most maintainable, most popular, way to create software applications. Once Apple supported adding specific website’s to the icons on the iPhone’s home screen, you’ve got the equivalent of applications on the Palm Treo – with internet access required, sure.

Doesn’t (or shouldn’t) this model cover 97% of all software?

The alternative is learning Objective-C, the development language in OS X and the amazingly popular GNUStep. Um. While not exactly wide reaching, this should increase the demand for ObjC developers.

For the commitment to ObjC, what to you get?
Some deeper ties into the iPhone’s hardware capabilities and iTunes as only distribution method.

In a client meeting earlier this week the team mentioned how the project needed to be available on mobile devices for internal use.

This brought to mind the Symbol barcode scanner running Palm’s OS and the handheld devices package delivery people at UPS and FedEx use.

Could they be replaced with an iPhone?


“Most road warriors could use Web-based tools with little loss in productivity.” – Phil Windley

Scanning an object’s barcode and manipulating data about it by multi-touch is a very compelling vision – whether on sales floor or in the warehouse.

On the flip side, I have a hard time imaging signing for a package on an iPhone…or enterprises IT departments agreeing to push out updates to a iPhone-native app via iTunes.

One thought on “Thinking About iPhone Web Apps for the Enterprise

  1. That very same Symbol processor, with barcode scanner, is being used in Apple stores. You can bet your last 12-inch PowerBook that Apple is work very hard to create an iPhone replacement for that hardware.

    An iPhone is very interesting for the FedEx/UPS crowd, because it could be constantly updating the central servers with updates through the phone’s data connection. That makes the information more up-to-date, something FedEx is always interested in doing. Getting delivery confirmation in nearly real time would be very attractive for some customers.

    Is there no way to create a stylus that would write on an iPhone?

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