Hewitt is most famously the Facebook mobile developer that stopped doing work on Facebook’s iOS efforts after he got fed up with Apple’s staunch App Store rules. Eventually leaving Facebook five years after the Parakey acquisition, Hewitt is now working on his own, heavily HTML5-based projects.”
Hewitt seemed softer on his Apple stance at today’s talk, even telling Siegler that he was an iPhone man, “I never said I didn’t love the product.”
Hewitt also said that he’s heard that Apple has gotten better with regards to its often strict rules, “They’re more responsive to developers and the wait times are shorter.” Hewitt also admitted that he personally hadn’t submitted anything to the Apple App Store in past two years.
Hewitt thinks that while a lot of people were now writing native apps because it was trendy and exciting, some content does absolutely not work on the platform, bringing up The Financial Times as an example of an institution that successfully decided on a HTML5 web app in lieu of iOS participation. He hopes that more developers will follow this lead as the mobile web becomes more functional but native apps aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
“There’s a place for app stores long-term .. [for example] games are great for app stores,” he said, referring to the format’s ability to take payments and the fact that games would be most aided by the hundreds of millions of credit cards retained by iOS for example. Hewitt held that other formats, like news and magazine apps, were not ideal, “The user experience really suffers,” he said.
You can watch the video below and rest of the Mobile First CrunchUp on the livestream here.