Developing for the iPhone vs. developing for the web

As you may know, I sincerely enjoy developing stuff for the web. But I also enjoy using native applications on my iPhone, so learning iPhone development has been on my todo list for a long time. Today, I stroke the item off the list, without having learnt anything about it. It’s just not interesting to me any more.

In order to explain my reasons, I have assembled a list that compares the possibilities of native iPhone development using Objective-C with web development.

iPhone web
Apps can be used by other mobile operating systems? no yes
Familiar web technologies like HTML and JavaScript can be reused? no yes
Apps can be updated whenever you want/need to? no yes
You can use new technologies like NoSQL and node.js? no yes
Apps have to go through some stupid review process? yes no
Available features and languages are defined by some kind of control freak? yes no
Apps that compete with Apple software will be banned? yes no
You have to submit a final app (costing time and money) to find out whether your app will be accepted? yes no

Just counting the yes and nos, there is no clear winner. Of course, this list is 100% objective and complete. If you have anything to add, against all expectations and common sense, please leave a comment.

Update: This blog post by 37signals sums up my feelings about Apple pretty well.

Show Comments