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Applications May Be The iPhone's Shortcoming

Questions of performance and security are raised over Apple's Web-based approach.

Steve Jobs tried to bamboozle the crowd at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference last week with the promise of "a very sweet solution" for creating and running third-party applications. It didn't work.

"You can write amazing Web 2.0 and Ajax apps that look and behave exactly like apps on the iPhone, and these apps can integrate perfectly with iPhone services," Apple's CEO enthused.

Yet, even though Jobs says Web-based apps "look and behave exactly" like native apps, some Mac software developers don't buy it. Words like "lame" and "weeeeak" popped up in response on blogs and message boards.

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For one thing, Web-based applications don't take advantage of the iPhone's strongest selling point: its elegant and intuitive user interface. You can't tap on a Web program to launch it, and there won't be an icon on the iPhone's screen, next to Apple's icons. For developers, there's a big difference between being able to give users an icon on the iPhone's screen and telling them to load Safari and visit a Web page. For users, the former feels more like a "real," integrated solution.

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