Nial Giacomelli on His Showtime iPhone Web App

Nial Giacomelli:

The final point I’d like to make revolves around the fact that web app development has allowed me to avoid the App Store in its entirety. As a result, Showtime updates can be deployed in seconds, allowing me to accurately gauge user reactions. An experience which, rather paradoxically, native app developers (who pay for the privilege) sadly seem to miss out on.

That’s the trade-off, to be sure.

Showtime looked good when I first saw it a few weeks ago, and it looks even better today. It looks like a great native iPhone app. It just doesn’t feel like one, and scrolling is the main reason. I also believe that iPhone web app developers need to be careful about creating controls that look like native iPhone controls, but act different. Showtime uses On/Off toggle buttons that look just like the native ones, but the fake web ones can only be activated by tapping them. The real ones can be both tapped and slid. And my observations suggest most iPhone users slide them (including Phil Schiller in an on stage demo). If you have to tap them, better to use checkboxes, I say.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009