An iOS web application—or iOS web app—uses Web 2.0 technologies to deliver a focused solution that looks and behaves like a built-in iOS application. iOS web apps run in Safari on iOS, the unique implementation of Safari that provides full-featured web browsing on iOS-based devices and responds to touch-based gestures.
To develop a great iOS web app you need to:
Optimize your web content for Safari on iOS
Design a user experience and user interface that follows Apple’s guidelines
Choose next how you want to get started—by reading about the basics, getting your hands on some code, or diving into specific technologies.
Want to get familiar with the fundamentals?
iOS Human Interface Guidelines introduces many of the user experience and user interface guidelines that govern great iOS web apps.
Prefer to learn by doing?
“Mobile Safari Web Application Tutorial” walks you through using Dashcode to create a simple web application you can run in Safari on iOS.
Simple Browser is a sample project you can use to find out how to develop a productivity style iOS web app (the built-in iOS Settings application is an example of this style).
CardFlip is a sample project you can use to find out how to implement the back-to-front flip most utility style iOS web apps perform (the built-in iOS Weather application is an example of this style).
Want to find out how Safari on iOS supports the web technologies you use?
Safari HTML Reference describes the HTML elements and attributes you can use in Safari on iOS.
Safari CSS Reference describes the CSS properties Safari on iOS supports.
WebKit DOM Programming Topics and WebKit DOM Reference cover accessing the DOM in your iOS web app.
Go In Depth
Sometimes you need task-focused information or answers to specific questions to get started. Browse the popular tasks described below for a more targeted way to start development on your iOS web app.
Use visual effects to add richness to your iOS web app. Safari CSS Visual Effects Guide describes how to use CSS properties to implement stunning visual effects in your iOS web app without resorting to static images, Flash, or Dynamic HTML.
Take advantage of the Multi-Touch interface to allow users to tap, flick, and drag content in your iOS web app. “Handling Multi-Touch Events” in Safari Web Content Guide describes how to register for and respond to these multi-touch events; Safari DOM Additions Reference documents the WebKit DOM extensions that support them.
Add links to built-in iOS applications to make your iOS web app feel more integrated with users’ devices. Apple URL Scheme Reference describes how to add links that open Phone, Maps, iTunes, and more.
Ready for More?
The Safari Reference Library holds plenty more resources that make your job easier. To narrow the list of resources, you can set filters to focus on specific resource types (such as guides or sample code) or on specific topics (such as user experience or data management).