iPhone/iPad apps are for making money and the web is for innovating

May 1st, 2010

When Apple announced their new programming rules for making apps for the iPhone/iPad, it pretty much eliminated any chance of me building an app. Not because I’m against learning Objective C or Xcode, but because I don’t have the time right now and even though the Packager for iPhone in Flash CS5 looked promising, I still don’t think I would have been all gung-ho to build anything, and, of course, Apple took that off the table. After spending the last little while defending Flash and saying it should be on the iPhone, I’m coming around to thinking, does it matter if it’s not on there? I still think it should be on the iPad, mainly because Flash is still a big part of the web, but that’s another post.

My way of thinking is now this, Apple wants to control what’s on their mobile products and as a company, that’s their right. I’m not big on them throwing around the work “open” all the time, because nothing about the iPhone/iPad is actually open. And because of Apple’s approving process, the iPhone development world isn’t going to be full of innovative apps, with the exception of things Apple makes, maybe. The iPhone platform is going to be good for one thing, apps that are based on your web app or extend your website or an iPhone version of the game you made for the web. People are going to make money on the iPhone and iPad but they aren’t going to make anything revolutionary. There won’t be any Googles or Twitters showing up first as an iPhone app.

The web is where innovation happens and it’s going to stay that way. On the web all you need is a domain name, some hosting and an idea. If it’s a good idea and you pull it off, who knows, you might have the next big thing on your hands. No need to wait for anyone’s approval. That’s the great thing, anyone anywhere can do it, with some talent and a bit of luck. And here’s the other big difference, you can make some cash through the App Store, some people have made a fair chunk of change, but you’re never going to see anybody becoming a billionaire off apps. There won’t be any Amazons or Facebooks created on the iPhone.

I’m not saying making apps is bad. My point is the freedom to create is on the Internet. And no one should let anyone tell them whether they can put their idea out there for people to see.

4 Responses to iPhone/iPad apps are for making money and the web is for innovating

  1. Tudor says:

    I agree with your point of view, but the interwebs still lose on the mobility. How about a middle solution, which might be a web app ?

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  3. KT says:

    I really disagree, there are tons of innovation around apps, not because Apple is restricting how people are developing for the iPhone/iPad. It’s because the iPhone is the damn most innovative devices since 2000. Think about the browser and web, it’s came a long way since 2000 but Flash has effectively retarded the growth of innovation around the web and I think HTML5 will be a key factor in more innovations around web.

    All the stories about Apple banning this app and that app, but seriously look at those apps that were banned, were they something innovative, totally not. Foursqaure, Gowalla, Hotpotato can never gain the traction that they have without the iPhone leading the charge. Without the iPhone there would probably be no location based innovation in 2009/10. iPhone is the machine behind these innovation. Not the web. Period.

  4. RC says:

    Flash didn’t retard anything, browser wars did. Flash came to the rescue letting everyone choose more advanced layouts, build complex interactive interfaces, and animated sexiness to their sites. You didn’t have to code one page 5 times for the competing browsers. This is why I even got interested in web design! But things are very different now. Nothing important is done with flash anymore and animated sexiness is not what keep the web churning… social apps are. Even as a flash designer myself, I knew it was gonna bite the big one at some point. Flash is a heavy tool for a complicated and bloated internet. But simplicity and speed are becoming all the rage due to mobile devices. Everything is pairing down, while becoming easier and more fun for everyone to use. Flash isn’t dead it just needs to do a bit of work if it’s going to catch up. It really is yesterday’s Desktop PC tech.

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