I was a little nervous to look at iPhone for Web Developers from the Apple Developer Connection; with a splash as big as the iPhone, it seemed inevitable that they’d cut corners when it came to support for open standards. Surely the Use Standards and Tried-and-True Design Practices heading was a tease. But then… wow…
The first surprise was support for the tel: URI scheme, like so:
I managed to set up one-click calling from the gnome desktop via Vonage, so every phone number marked up that way saves me precious time.
Given Flash’s market share, this is bold:
And it goes on from there:
Ensure that your HTTP server sends the correct MIME types is a great bumper-sticker summary of the TAG finding on Authoritative Metadata.
The http://www.w3.org/html/wg/ pointer under “Connect With Web Developers” is backed by active participation in the W3C HTML Working Group.
Some stuff I wonder about… is it really worth sending all these bytes in the value of the HTTP User-Agent header field?
Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/1A543a Safari/419.3
The reference movie stuff sounds like SMIL; I wonder if it is. And I forgot most of what I know about RTSP, so I don’t know whether “iPhone does not stream media using RTP/RTSP” is a big deal or not.
They don’t support “Custom x.509 certificates”; so you don’t get to choose who you trust. I hope they’ll relax that eventually, though I can understand a conservative approach to security in the first release.
I wonder about some of those guidelines, meanwhile. I’m not really an expert on deployment of mobile handset technology, so I don’t have good arguments against “120 pixels, minimum.” But I find it hard to believe that’s really going to be a relevant target for the lifetime of a typical W3C Recommendation.
I know a lot of mobile deployment is in the developing world; I wonder how long handsets last there. I gather the half-life of a handset in leading markets is around 18 months. I use a t-mobile Sidekick, which is its own mixed bag of blessings and curses with respect to open standards. It’s starting to show its age, so like Norm Walsh and Tim Bray, I’m keeping an eye on OpenMoko and the like.
Speaking of rich applications and the mobile web, W3C is holding a Mobile Ajax workshop 28 September in the San Francisco Bay area. It looks like a really cool workshop; I’m bummed that my travel schedule takes me elsewhere. Position papers are due 15 August. They don’t have to be great masterpieces, so if you have something to say on the subject, please send one in!