One Editor's Opinion: Your iPhone "App" Sucks

This morning, we happened to find a particular “web application” that was already being touted as an “iPhone application”. It’s called OneTrip and guess what? It’s supposed to be an amazing shopping list app. designed specifically for the iPhone! According to OneTrip’s help page:

Sorry, OneTrip will only run in Safari. As an iPhone app, it doesn’t really need to run in anything else.

OneTrip is an iPhone-optimized web application (a simple shopping list). Since third-party apps won’t be available on iPhone for a while, I thought I’d create a website you could load in Safari on iPhone to approximate having a custom widget. I have no idea how this will actually run on iPhone, but I tried to make it look and feel iPhone-y based on what we know so far.

This is a single-page, no-reload JavaScript app.

Hey! New feature! Your shopping list will be saved in a cookie, so it’ll be available next time you visit the page.

Oh! I’m sorry! I forgot the entire time I was reading your manifesto, I was looking at your page in the Mac OS X browser Shiira! And guess what? It looked the same in Safari. So the next time you have the audacity to tell me your piece of shit “web application” will only run in Safari, I’m going to flip. There is no iPhone SDK and until an iPhone SDK comes out or you graduate from MIT, there will be no iPhone applications from you dude.

In fact, let me tell you something. Just because you dove into a programming book you saw on sale at Borders for $5.99 and got past example 3-A where you use cookies to store data does not mean your application is for the iPhone or limited to Safari exclusively. Let’s take a look at the “issues” you list on your site:

-OneTrip only runs in Safari.
-On a desktop Mac, you’ll get gnarly scrollbars in long lists. This shouldn’t happen on iPhone, obviously.
-Tags will be stripped from free-text input (not an issue, really – a note).
-I don’t yet know how exactly iPhone Safari scales pages. My thinking is that if I have a 320 px-wide page, it should be shown at 1:1. We’ll see.
-We aren’t 100% on whether iPhone will even run JavaScript, are we?

Whoa whoa, hold the phone here. You’re saying you’re not even sure if the iPhone will support JavaScript, you don’t know how it’ll scale websites, you don’t know the pixel length, and you sure as hell were wrong about scrollbars showing up on a desktop Mac, because guess what:

Surprise, surprise. No scrollbars. And no JavaScript on the iPhone? That’s like me and Goldman getting a bagel without lox. So please dude, stop trying to bank on the iPhone. I’m sick of it. Everyone is sick of it. Let the damn phone come out then start developing your “sick appz” for it.