Couldn’t agree more.
It’s old news that every Apple non-public software release is under a NDA and only members of the Apple Developer Program gain access to Beta Releases. This makes absolutely sense because you want them to test the software, report bugs and most importantly prepare their Apps for the new release.
Web Developers need to prepare their Web Apps too.
There is no way for Web Developers who are a member of the Apple Developer Program, like me, to share and tell other Developers about new features without breaking the NDA. This is a big problem since most Web Developers hear about new features only after the final software is released and in most cases even later. Many months get lost while the Beta-Phase which could have been used to prepare our Web Apps or make decisions based on the knowledge of upcoming features.
The next thing is that even if you have access to the Developer Program, the documentation for new features in Web Technologies is pretty poor. When i take a look at the Release Notes for iOS 6 and the “Safari & WebKit” section i see only a few (nice things, but still only a few) of the new features and nothing CSS related.
I know and understand that native Apps are Apple’s business and they will continue to put all their effort and time into them and i am very happy with the new candies for Web Apps coming to iOS 6 but i’d love to see them drop the NDA for Web Technologies and document new stuff for “Safari & WebKit” a little bit more verbose.
Apple has announced `iOS 6´ 2 days ago and the beta is already available to developers. While there are many new, really cool features, one certain behavior of home screen webapps has caught my attention.
Webapps added to the home screen, if using the appropriate html meta tags to launch in fullscreen, are now listed as apps on their own, instead of just Safari.
You can see this if you add an webapp to your home screen, which launches in fullscreen and uses the geolocation API. Give it permission to access your location and then have a look at Settings/Privacy/Location Services. The webapp should be listed as a seperate app, even with an icon!
One benefit of this is that home screen webapps no longer have to ask every 24 hours for geolocation permission. Another consequence of this is that if you delete all safari cookies and data, it won’t affect your home screen webapp. It looks like home screen webapps have their own storage now, just like native apps.
This is huge and i think we will see more and more coming in this direction.