Web development and optimisation for the iPhone and iPad are necessary practices in today’s web development industry. The iPhone operating system dominates roughly half the current worldwide Smartphone market, so for a website to be made mobile-accessible, the iPhone operating system must be given full consideration. iPhones and iPads, like all other Apple products, use the Safari browser, which can be used, with some variances, with both a desktop computer and mobile devices.
Web development for the iPhone and iPad involves a break with conventional website design for web applications optimised specifically for the mobile medium. Often a complementary web app will need to be designed in addition to a more extensive website. Web apps can also be made as promotional and educational tool, such as a game-like diamond grading app made to promote a particular diamond dealer.
Web development for the specific iPhone operating system involves cutting down and excluding unnecessary elements of an existing website. Often making preliminary sketches on paper for the layout of a web app can prove useful for working with reduced space constraints. This prevents the website development from becoming over complicated and unworkable on the iPhone or iPad. Design of the web app must be made with the end-user in mind. The way mobile devices are used in people’s everyday lives must be a considered factor in the development, as usage differs greatly from the traditional desktop computer.
Web development for the iPhone and iPad requires specific understanding of how the Safari browser works, to produce code that is optimised for the medium. Knowledge is also needed, however, of the differences between the iPhone and iPad, as there are some subtle variances between the way each work. While modern code such as HTML5 and CSS3 can be used successfully, there are many unique development aspects to be mastered before developing the web app.
Testing a web development for the iPhone and iPad can be more complex than for a web browser. There are systems; however that simulate the iPhone operating system to enable effective testing. There are also testing tools that broadcast a website development in the making to an iPhone or iPad to visualise the web app and get all sizing and visual considerations just right.
Designing web apps for the iPhone and iPad can be an exciting way for someone in the web development industry to express their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit through a relatively new web medium.