Strange Omissions

Rumor has it that, at least initially, the iPhone will lack Flash support — argh! (Even the Wii has Flash support.) Yes, that is disappointing, but it doesn’t explain why Apple’s email announcement to people, like me, who signed up for news on the iPhone’s release doesn’t mention web browsing.


But the really sad omission is…

It really looks like the iPhone SDK non-announcement is a little hasty. Yes, you can develop perfectly good 3rd party apps for the iPhone using a web server, but no, Apple hasn’t added some perfectly obvious bells and whistles to make this seamless:

  1. There appears to be no way, out of the box, to “bookmark” or “force cache” a page and make it launch directly from the main menu.
  2. The Safari UI doesn’t appear to be hideable (yes, the address bar auto-hides after a period of non-use, but it needs to be possible to hit all trace of the browser from JavaScript or something).

Technically, these are minor omissions and easily fixed, but boy would they have made great demos (versus the glorified phone book app that was shown).

Build a simple game using DHTML. Make it 480×320. Go there with your browser. Click a button to “appify” it. Boom. Third party game app. (And then demonstrate how it automatically updates the cached version when appropriate.)

Go to Google documents and “appify” it. Boom. You have a real word processor on your iPhone.

These are low hanging fruit, and it’s rather lame that Apple didn’t have at least one moderately cool demo to show.