Web Development For iPhone Is Fucking Brilliant

Excuse the profanity - I had a revelation.

Millions of children (yes children) are learning, working with, and experimenting with the exact technologies used for development on iPhone - HTML and JavaScript - every single day.

They know all about embedding code for widgets and videos, and many of them are teaching themselves to edit and customize the code on sites like MySpace. Sure, most of their efforts amount to slice-my-eyes-50-ways-with-a-razor-blade levels of awful, but that’s not the point. What matters is that this group of youngsters - a group who, you’ll recall, hasn’t breathed a single breath in a world without Internet - is not afraid. They’re not afraid of code, of RSS feeds, of uploading, downloading, syncing, embedding, linking, SMS-ing, clicking, dragging, poking, or any of the other myriad methods of interaction developers have spent years trying to teach reluctant users. This group is not reluctant. They’ve spent their entire lives in front of screens and they just get it, and more and more they are dirtying their hands playing with all the gooey stuff that exists beneath the interface - like tags and elements and variables and feeds.

This is the first generation in the history of mankind that knows how to program a VCR.

Think about that. It’s true, even though many of them probably have no clue what a VCR is.

The reason that making the web the main development platform for iPhone is brilliant is because every one of these millions of children can develop for it. Sure, their apps will never be Google-level, or even Adobe-level, but they’ll still be apps. There is a huge business in widget-making right now - companies that make it easier for the kids to customize and embed - and iPhone will literally explode that ecosystem. Therein lies the ultimate value: hyperpersonalization.

With a pretty much infinite number of available URLs - every single user can control a multitude of ultra-customized widget-type applications, pulling and sharing data from Facebook, MySpace, news sites, blogs - even music and video from the web. Each app/widget gets its own page. Everything talks to everything else. Complete personalization is only a synchronized Safari bookmark away. And it won’t matter if their web is ugly - I can just as easily make mine non-ugly.

iPhone has the potential to go viral (as they say) in a huge way. The power to develop - previously in the hands of the few - is now, quite literally, at the fingertips of millions.

Postscript: Price, schmice. Trust me on this. I’ve got my pixel ruler out and ready.

More iPhone here.