Sunday, June 17, 2007

GWT announced as the new iPhone SDK

Perhaps the title of this entry is slightly misleading, but it comes close to the truth. In this entry I present a guy named Steve, and his announcement that gave me some insight to the future of web development.

First, let me provide some background information. In case you missed it, Apple held its World Wide Developers Conference last week, and as usual Steve Jobs stood up on the big stage to deliver the keynote address. The keynote is the highlight of WWDC, and even if you weren't there you could find out what Steve was talking about by watching the many real-time blog posts covering the presentation.

As part of the keynote Steve announced the SDK for the iPhone, as was rumored, but what Steve announced isn't what the attendees expected. Steve announced that the SDK for the iPhone is the rich Internet application. That's right, the new SDK is the same SDK that Web 2.0 developers have been working with for the past few years, including GWT. This is made possible because the iPhone uses the full Safari browser.

As most developers I would expect, I was a befuddled by the announcement. Big deal I thought, but then it hit me. What Steve announced was not just about the iPhone, it was about all computing devices. You don't need to have an SDK for your mobile device anymore, all you need is a capable browser, and an Internet connection. As a web developer I find this exciting, and I see a very good future for our industry.

Of course Steve Jobs is not omniscient, but the fact that he announced the SDK in the way he did is a huge step in what I believe is the right direction. The only tools we need for this to become a reality is free wifi everywhere (or something similar), the actual hardware devices, the maturation of rich Internet applications, and a little imagination. As web developers we have held up our part of this, building web applications that can compete with traditional desktop applications, and the latest hardware is getting close to where we need it as well. All we need to do now is wait for everywhere wifi and then many of us will be able to leave the laptop at home in favor of a pocket browser.

In summary, GWT + iPhone = the future of mobile computing.


Ray Cromwell said...

Great minds think alike? :)

I created this project right after the Keynote and posted this to the GWTC group.

But Joel Webber was far ahead, he posted this on Jan 9:


Robert Hanson said...

I saw those posts, but I think that this goes beyond just the iPhone. Another recent announcement that comes to mind is the Foleo by Palm. My prediction (and hope) is that the iPhone announcement is only one of the first in a long line of announcements that point to RIA as their SDK.

I will even go so far as to predict that in 10 years a strong share (25-40%) of web browsing will be done from non-PC browsers, including phones, non-PCs (like the Foleo), PDAs, Web-TV, and other non-traditional browsing platforms.