Chapter 1. Introducing Safari/WebKit Development for iPhone 3.0

The introduction of the iPhone and the subsequent unveiling of the iPod touch have revolutionized the way people interact with handheld devices. No longer do users have to use a keypad for screen navigation or browse the Web through "dumbed down" pages. These mobile devices have brought touch screen input, a revolutionary interface design, and a fully functional Web browser right into the palms of people's hands.

Seeing the platform's potential, all the segments of the developer community jumped on board. Although native applications may receive most of the attention, you can still create apps for iPhone without writing a single line of Objective-C, the programming language used to develop native iPhone apps. In fact, iPhone's WebKit-based browser provides a compelling application development platform for Web developers who want to create custom apps for iPhone using familiar Web technologies.

Each subsequent release of the iPhone OS and Safari on iPhone has put increased power into the hands of Web developers, and as I'll discuss shortly, the iPhone OS 3.0 release is no exception.

Discovering the Safari/WebKit Platform

An iPhone Web application runs inside of the built-in Safari browser that is based on Web standards, including these:

  • HTML/XHTML (HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1.9, XHTML mobile profile document types)

  • CSS (CSS 2.1 and partial CSS3)

  • JavaScript (ECMAScript 3, JavaScript 1.4)

  • AJAX (for example, XMLHTTPRequest)

  • SVG (Scalable ...

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