Google Plus iPhone app: Innovation and boundaries for HTML5

By Posted 9 Jul 2011, 16:19

Last month the Google+ social networking site was released which coincided with the release of an Android application. We reported at the time that an iPhone version was in coming in the not too distant future. Today we are looking at the Google Plus iPhone app and innovation and boundaries for HTML 5.

On Google’s new site recently Seesmic founder Loic Le Meur begun a discussion on the differences between HTML5 mobile web apps, and iOS and Android apps. According to an article on ReadWrite Mobile by Sarah Perez the question he raised was what you cannot do in a mobile web app.

To start with you can’t do video capture or push notifications, but what were the other things and real challenges? Google Plus users made 87 comments with the others things, and for mobile developers there was one discussion that might be of interest.

It was inspired by the Google+ HTML 5 app which is the one available for users of iOS, while the official one still awaits approval by Apple. Nik Cubrilovic’s mentioned how local storage works on mobile, and said “The design pattern is to pre-load everything, assets, templates, etc. when the user first loads the app,” He went on to say that HTNL5 applications that he is working on are going to be “fantastic”, and “really pushing the envelope”.

Another developer of Android applications David Shellabarger, said that there are a number of Android specific things that Web apps can’t achieve, that include; adding ringtones, replacing any app, accessing the local file system, accessing the menu button, changing the wallpaper, and completely replacing the home screen.

With iOS Jay Goldman said you can’t do overlays on the camera capture screen, upload files on iOS as well as do local or push notifications. There is links for resources which can help with some of these challenges including Appcelerator, PhoneGap, and Xamarin. The discussion took off at a fast pace with another thread on Q&A site Quora. Le Meur said “20+ answers here in a few minutes,” “only one in Quora.”

But once Google pushes Google Questions into Google+ what happens to Quora? Only quality answers are rewarded on Quora making it a bit different, but the reduced barrier to entry, speed and ease which users can comment on Google+ is not a bad thing. This also allows more people to take part which could prove more valuable. Individual answers can also be +1 so quality answers can be rewarded in the new system.