What makes an exemplar iPhone webapp?

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Christopher Allen

Jul 7, 2007, 12:00:07 AM7/7/07
to iPhoneWebDev
I've been showing various iPhone web apps to people tonight at
iPhoneDevCamp, and connecting various people together with different

One question that has come up is what is it that makes an iPhone web
app an exemplar?

So far, Jeff www.gasapp.com and Joe Hewitt's Navigation
http://joehewitt.com/files/iphone/navigation.html navigator are
clearly exemplars, but also very different apps.

Gas.app is one my exemplars list because it is elegantly simple and works great.

Navigation is one of the best UI demos so far.

So what qualities make an exemplar iPhone web app? What are your
favorites so far, and why?

If you can get me answers before my presentation tomorrow morning, all
add the best exemplars to my list to show everyone.

-- Christopher Allen


Jul 7, 2007, 12:20:58 AM7/7/07
to iPhoneWebDev
I think a big part of it is the aesthetic look of the app, and less
the functionality. And the reason I say that is since we are so
limited in what we can develop, most of the apps are very simple. It
took me about an hour or two to do the backend for Gas.app, but I
spent days working on the graphics and design, getting it better and
better (and it still could get even better).

However, with Joe Hewitt's navigation, it can help A LOT of apps,
including my new Movies.app (www.moviesapp.com). I built Movies.app
completely in probably about 4 hours. I spent a much larger
percentage of the time writing the backend than I did doing the
design, since a very clean, functional, and easy to use design was
already available.

I think that if you want to design a good app, it must look good, and
should definitely fit the screen size (and in most cases the page
shouldn't even be resizable).

On Jul 7, 12:00 am, "Christopher Allen"

<Christoph...@iPhoneWebDev.com> wrote:
> I've been showing various iPhone web apps to people tonight at
> iPhoneDevCamp, and connecting various people together with different
> needs.
> One question that has come up is what is it that makes an iPhone web
> app an exemplar?

> So far, Jeffwww.gasapp.comand Joe Hewitt's Navigationhttp://joehewitt.com/files/iphone/navigation.htmlnavigator are


Jul 7, 2007, 2:10:18 AM7/7/07
to iPhoneWebDev
I'll second Jeff't comment. A good iphone app has to be simple and
clean. I think the key difference here is that it should look and
function more like a client iphone app, than a typical web page -
especially mobile web/wap pages. While mobile web sites have been
very simple to use, they don't carry over well to a rich interface
like the iphone's. You don't want to be zooming yourself, or worrying
about clicking the right hyperlink.

iPhone apps enable sites to break up the content, so it no longer has
to be on one long endless scrolling page.


Jul 7, 2007, 2:29:56 AM7/7/07
to iPhoneWebDev
Here's my list in order of importance

1. Useful - Something that saves me time (like the movies app) or
possibly money (like the gas app) - but first we have to spend $600 to
get this, so perhaps money is not as important as is time.
2. Fast - Dont make me wait. What I hate is sometimes safari hangs
while trying to load something and there is no way out of it. Again
dont waste my time.
3. Easy to Use - Make the buttons and text easy to read and don't make
me scroll / zoom. Make navigation simple. Use uniform buttons and
4. Remember Me - Keep my info so I dont have to reenter it every time.
5. Be Free. I don't think I will pay for an iPhone app, unless its got
something of amazing value or usefulness.


Jul 7, 2007, 8:25:29 AM7/7/07
to iPhoneWebDev
I think a good iPhone app is one that will keep users coming back.
Sure fancy effects and formatting look great, but it's the content and
usefulness that will survive.

Already, with my silly little joke book site, I've seen thousands of
jokes read over the past week. Hopefully I've been able to make folks
smile :)

Sure the app needs lots of UI help to make it more "iPhone'y" but that
will come over time, and I am already learning great tips from this
community, and I want to thank you all greatly.

Put a smaile on your face and make the world a better place.


Hardy Macia

Jul 7, 2007, 8:26:51 AM7/7/07
to iphone...@googlegroups.com
Since I just work up, I'll pretend that I'm still dreaming so I'd love
to see all the apps that support logins support OpenID
(http://openid.net/). 37 Signals had a blog entry about it...

Let me log in once per day or control how often I must relogin to all
my sites (daily to never) with one master password. I don't know
what's involved on backend or front end to make it work, but like the
concept of keychain for the web.

- Hardy

Christopher Allen

Jul 7, 2007, 10:22:07 AM7/7/07
to iphone...@googlegroups.com

I like OpenID -- I'll pass the desire for it around iPhoneWebDev.
Especially for example OpenID login/auth code that displays well on

-- Christopher Allen

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