Touchscreen web apps

By September 8, 2010Apple, Yahoo!

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Last week I wrote about the beauty of the touchscreen interfaces on some native iPad apps and then in a post about HTML5 briefly explored the notion that web standards will need to evolve if web apps are going to keep pace with the user experience available in native apps on touch screen devices.

Evidently the folks at Yahoo! have been having the same thoughts.

There is a piece on Techcrunch today detailing Yahoo’s release of the latest version of their open source User Interface Library, YUI which will make support for touch events like flicking, sliding and I hope pinch to zoom, “a whole lot less of a chore to build”.

The post also has a good description of the basic challenges of turning traditional browser into a touch browser, and it is a whole lot more complicated than assuming a mouse click and a touch are the same thing.

I also like Techcrunch’s description of the problem that touch screens are bringing to web designers:

Gather up a group of people who make their living through web design, and they’ll probably all agree on at least two things: A) touchscreens aren’t going anywhere, and B) designing web stuff for touchscreens sort of sucks. Native apps have, in a sense, spoiled users; with things like drag-and-drop and basic touch gesture recognition almost laughably simple to implement in native apps, web app developers are left to hack in such features themselves or risk having their app seem dated from the get-go.