Native iOS-Apps: Was können wir vom Web lernen? by Heiko Behrens – getBeanApp.com
Heiko states that, despite the fact that native apps generally provide a better use experience, we can learn a lot from the Web world.
A couple of impressive HTML5 demonstrations bring home the point that we shouldn’t underestimate what modern web technology is capable of. The question is: Can we make use of this? Heiko brings us three reasons which show how we can:
1. There are Web tools and SDKs out there, which we can use directly within our iOS apps
2. We can take a leave out of the REST world and use this to improve the communication between apps (and between the Web and our apps) – and hence the user-experience
3. We can make direct use user authentication strategies developed for the Web in our apps
As for tools and SDKs, Heiko demonstrates Hype – a tool for creating HTML5 keyframe animations – and shows how we can utilize the result directly without our apps, essentially by piggybacking of the UIWebView. This is certainly a lot easier to develop than hand-coding with Core Animation and related APIs. Secondly, he also shows Weinre – a tool for remote debugging Java Script.
Inter-app and app-web communication can realized using an app’s custom schemes. This mechanism enables an app to be registered for invocation, when the device is confronted with a URI, which specifies the custom protocol. What follows the protocol can be flexibly defined and exploited un a number of ways.
Heiko finally draws our attention to some clever strategies for enabling user-authentication. His example is based on Facebook. Many apps need to access the user’s Facebook account and this, of course, cannot occur without the user authentication. What Heiko shows is how an app (a simple example in this case – but it’ll work for any app) invokes the Facebook app (using a custom scheme) pin order to obtain an access token. Assuming the user has already logged into Facebook, then the Facebook splash screen is briefly shown before the devices switches back to the current app. If the user is not already logged into Facebook, he’ll be prompted to do so. Furthermore, this prompt comes from the Facebook app – an app he can (presumably) trust – which means phishing is less likely to be successful.
A very nice presentation from a gifted presenter. If Heiko comes to a conference near you: Go see him!