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WidgetPad: web development for iPhone apps

Josh Carr

Sorting through the tips inbox, we encountered a new product that is coming out for the iPhone next week. It's not an app, game, or anything we "normal folk" would use but it looks to be a great open source, web-based development platform for iPhone.

WidgetPad allows web developers to create iPhone applications using only their knowledge in web-based code. The software allows you to write your applications using web-based code and then transfer them to standalone apps for the iPhone or iPod touch.

We're being told that the iPhone is only the beginning; the software will eventually translate to other smart phone platforms so that developers can quickly and easily export their applications for other app stores without re-writing the code. Here are some quick highlights:

  • Create web-based applications that utilize each phone's hardware capabilities.
  • The environment includes and helps you learn HTML 5.
  • It's all open source. If you want another feature, you can help the development team create it.
  • Each application is written within the software and can be publish directly to the iPhone (more platforms soon).
  • Source code editing for Javascript, HTML 5 and CSS (with syntax highlighting).
  • No additional software - all of the work is done directly from your browser.
I am not a developer, but I do some web design on occasion. I find it very interesting that I could create an iPhone application without learning Cocoa Touch and the Objective C language. I imagine that porting these apps to Palm's WebOS would be quite simple since it's already running a form of web-based code for its applications. If this software works well, we could not only see an increase in the already thriving iPhone developer world, but the smart phone app world as a whole. If you end up taking the leap, let us know what you find. We'll keep you updated and let you know our results in a later post.

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