May 16, 2010 in car2go

Three hours and change to go—it’s the home stretch.

Build #2: car2go.markphillip.com

This build is start to look a whole lot more like a mobile app. One big question though: Who exactly are we building for?

iPhone/Android/Palm are of course at the top of the list, but what about Blackberry? Sure, it’s the odd-man out when it comes to a Webkit browser, but I rock a Blackberry. Am I really building something that I can’t use?

Yes and no.

I definitely won’t see the hawtness that the iPhone/Android/Palm triumvirate will enjoy, but with graceful degradation I’ll still accomplish the overarching goal: a super fast app that can get me to my car2go when I’m on the go. And the good news? With their next OS, Blackberry will finally join the cool kid Webkit club.

So all is peachy, right? Instead of building a native app on four different platforms with four different languages, I’ve built just one using the ubiquitous HTML. Not exactly.

While wrapping these pages into native apps and posting them to their respective stores is trivial at this point, I’ll never have access to core features like GPS detection. For this app, more than most, is an important feature. We worked around it by remembering recent location searches, and squeezing all the performance we could out of the app, but it will always be brought up up by the native app purists.

And that’s really, really too bad. Many in the tech community will rail against the evil that is the closed, proprietary Flash, yet will happily spend months learning Objective-C to build an app for the most closed-off platform we have.

Peter-Paul Koch had a great post last year (Apple is not evil. iPhone developers are stupid.), but sadly backed off it the very next day (Native iPhone apps vs. Web apps).

Truth is (and admittedly this is excessively blunt because I’m tired), native app developers on any single platform are stupid. And it’s not just the smartphone developers—I’m looking at you, Seesmic and Zynga.

Jeez, this post has taken me a long time. I’m gonna cop out, end it there, and get back to work. Trust me, it was gonna get even more boring.

1 Comment to 2:46

  1. Looks very cool and is very useful, especially for the amount of time. I take it the license function isn’t in yet.

    Go, Mark, Go!

  2. John Lynch on 16 May 2010

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