Facebook Doesn’t (Really) Need An iPhone App

As you know there’s been a great deal of discussion and some controversy about Facebook’s iPhone app and Apple’s overly controlling policies with app submission and approval. The developer at Facebook, Joe Hewitt, working on the iPhone app complained publicly about his frustration with Apple and has “moved on.”

While it’s true that Facebook’s iPhone app offers a great deal of functionality its “Touch” mobile Web site is so good that the app isn’t really necessary in my opinion. The only thing you can’t really do is upload photos via the Touch site.

Those who don’t want to deal with the app submission process can simply build rich “Web apps” that offer a better mobile Web experience. While you can tell which is which, the differences between the iPhone app and the mobile Web version (on an iPod Touch) below are not huge:

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5 Responses to “Facebook Doesn’t (Really) Need An iPhone App”

  1. James R Arthur Says:

    I agree from the standpoint that I’ve never understood why there are so many i apps that simply replicate web page functionality. (While I’m not an iPhone owner… I am a win mobile smart phone user and have played with iPhones a lot). There are great iPhone apps out there, many with custom functionality that can be replicated online… ditto with WM6 apps… but I don’t get while developers of iPhone apps and users would want to clutter the app store with things that can be done easily and elegantly online (and require connectivity!)

  2. steve haar Says:

    “Those who don’t want to deal with the app submission process can simply build rich “Web apps” that offer a better mobile Web experience. ”

    I know apps are the rage now, but as mobile browser are improved and developers start to focus on them, I believe apps are going to be relegated to extremely specialized functions. With smartphones and touch screens growing rapidly, with better mobile web browsers, developers will get more utility from browser based functionality than platform specific apps. I believe this migration is not far off.


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  4. Jack Says:

    I see the app model as temporary as a long term solution, that is unless the entire model changes and adapts over time. I think Apps are all the rage today, for two reasons; one they drive traffic to the mobile site, and two they are the only front end revenue generating model that the Iphone has for third party developers at the moment. As browsers and developers improve, I see the “free Web 2.0 model.” occurring again on the Iphone rather than the desktop. It may not be the same exact model of build and flip the web property to a larger company, but it will certainly disrupt the front end revenue model created by the App Store.

  5. cezille Says:

    yeah. there is no need to have an facebook app for your iphone or ipod. I can access facebook in my ipod touch using safari browser. So it’s not necessary to have facebook app anymore.

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