Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Free iPhone Apps might soon replace the need for the App Store.

With regards to smart-phones, the Apple iPhone is without a doubt, the favorite and market winner since its origin. While reports surface now and again demonstrating the Android beating the iPhones market-share, the proof is in the pie. And the pie tastes like ... apple. Let me say this, there's nothing tastier than piping hot apple pie!

To demonstrate my point all you need to do is do a quick search from Google’s Adwords tool and look at the number of searches for product related keywords: here is how it plays out at the general keyword level:

"iPhone" = 124,000,000 searches per month
"Android" = 30,400,000 searches per month

Then does this indicate that there are just about four X as many iPhone users as there are Android users? That’s about what I find when I check to see what type of phones people are toting around. What do you find? Another interesting note is that these numbers are straight from ... you guessed it - Google. Don’t forget, Google is Android.

One myth that has been thrown around a lot is that the Google ~ala~ Android development platform and community is so much more inviting and offers a lower barrier of entry than Apple ~ala~ iPhone. As far as I know, I haven't seen Google embrace the up and coming move towards web apps like Apple has. Apple has a comprehensive Web App Directory that any developer can submit their web apps to for free.

If you're wondering what a Web App is, it looks and behaves just like a native app that you would download from iTunes, but it's just a standard website that serves up HTML! It may be static HTML or might be rendered by a back end database with a server scripting language such as perl, asp or php. The important difference is that the HTML is most likely HTML5 and the styling is generated specific to browsers able to render iWebKit. These browsers are found pre-installed on both phones.

Rather than learn objective c to develop a native app, developers can easily parlay their existing skill set and begin writing web apps immediately. There are currently more than 5 development frameworks to help in the process. As of now, it has been reported that there are more than 300,000 native apps available for download in the iTunes app store. With very few developers able to code in objective c and millions of developers good with HTML, CSS and back end scripting languages, the development of web apps is poised to explode.

Another big difference between native apps and web apps is that there is no iTunes account necessary. To 'download' a web app all you actually must do is point your browser to a website developed this way! The trouble is that with the exclusion of Apples Web App Directory, a void remains in terms of easily locating and identifying web sites built specifically for your iPhone. All of the leading search engines have interfaces built specifically for your iPhone, but zero of them generate results specifically for your iPhone ... til now.

Free iPhone Apps is designed and built specifically for your iPhone and indexes only content designed and built specifically for your iPhone. The user interface should be familiar to App Store users and includes 10 searchable lists, the ability to rate, like and share your favorite apps as well as categories for the top, coolest and newest apps. Users should tap the + button in Safari to install and launch the app from their homescreen to maximize its use.