Blog Post

iPhone Informer — Touching the iPhone This Week

Time for our Wednesday feature that highlights some of the latest iPhone news! Did you hear the sound of the latest iPhone application? I did — Bing (s msft) is here with a bang. Microsoft’s app for iPhone and iPod Touch is already garnering solid reviews around the web and in a just a few minutes this morning, I can see why. The dedicated search app supports voice transcription, maps, directions, news, movies, images and local businesses. And it does so with the grace of any good iPhone application. Animations are fluid, voice transcription worked well in my tests and I actually prefer the maps over Google’s offering. It’s free to download, if it sounds like your thing, Microsoft has the Bing.

Also hitting my radar is some scuttlebutt around Apple developers making a move to web-based apps using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Hmm… that sounds familiar. What might be driving such a move is the coming of HTML5 and its advanced features. But not all agree that the new web standard will enable web apps. Jon Gruber makes some good points at Daring Fireball:

“One area in particular where iPhone web apps fall short of native iPhone apps is scrolling…  …With iPhone web apps, you can make a list that looks almost, maybe even exactly, like a native iPhone list view. But all web views on the iPhone scroll with almost no momentum. You can’t fling them. iPhone web views feel like they have a lot of scrolling friction.”

Gruber also mentions that Mobile Safari “can’t make a toolbar that stays put at the very top or bottom of the screen without having it scroll away when you scroll the content.” Either I’m missing a very subtle detail here or I’m not understanding what Google (s goog) has done with their Gmail web app on the iPhone. Since April of this year, it has supported the “floaty bar” that visually stays put. To Jon’s point, the “floaty bar” is not really staying put, but instead is re-rendered after scrolling — regardless of the method it works well enough for me.