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Don't do iPhone specific web development!

Every now and again I bump into scenarios where iPhone specific web development is asked. Every time, I say we've been here before and tell people development for specific devices and platforms isn't the way to go.

User experience is the most important, don't develop for specific devices and platforms.We've just recently fought the web standards war, where we've strived towards the goal to develop one time and make sure what we develop can be consumed everywhere. It surprises me that very few have argued against the case regarding iPhone specific websites.

We must focus at giving users the best experience regardless of what device is used.

We can't focus at only one platform, even though the platform is popular. A couple of years ago, there was a different case - iPhone was in a world of its own. But this is not the case any more - today, we've got a number of handheld devices available on the market and some of these devices are perfectly capable of competing with iPhone.

It has today become more important than ever to make sure websites can be viewed on several different devices, and this won't change - the mobile web is for sure here to stay. The accessibility question is of highest importance - we must make sure the largest number of crowd is able to convey information, no matter what.

What we can't do is the mistake we did not so long ago - develop websites that works only in one browser - or one platform.

By developing websites that works everywhere, we'll be able to reach out to a severe number of users instead of the the few that uses iPhone - because when we look at it, the iPhone users are still few compared to the mass who can and will use mobile devices to use the Internet.

To sum this up:

Develop to give all users the possibility to find and read information regardless of devices and platform.

Don't do iPhone specific web development.


Agree, information should be accessible to everyone regardless what they choose to use has their platform and browser. But what we can do is create the best possible experience for those people. In iPhones case, it uses Safari has its default browser, which supports CSS3 properties like border-radius, canvas etc. We can use those enhancements to give iPhone users an even better experience with just a little bit of code that does not in any way create problems with other browsers that do not support those properties. E.g if they don't support the border-radius property nothing major happens they just don't get the round corners.

Frederik; thanks for your thoughts, great addition!

I'm an ambassador when it comes to enhancing the user experience, meaning if iPhone web developers create a website which works perfectly fine on the iPhone with all its CSS3 support, and the same website is perfectly readable in other devices too - then that's great.

My experience so far is that's not always the case - when it comes to iPhone web development the focus is often at just the iPhone and nothing else - which just is plain wrong.

I agree!

Take a look at a web based target neutral app at

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