Apple’s ‘SproutCore’ Tools May Help Web Apps Grow Up
Indeed SproutCore appears to power the coming Mobile Me site, one of Apple’s big announcements at the company’s recent WWDC event. Mobile Me is essentially a redesigned and reworked .Mac service, which ties in with iPhones and, perhaps most importantly, is aimed at a cross-platform audience.
The cross-platform MobileMe features a very slick interface and lays the groundwork for Apple to invade the web app space.
But what’s interesting about Apple’s web plans is that they remain entirely free of proprietary technologies like Adobe Flash or Microsoft’s would-be Flash-killer Silverlight. Frequent Apple partner Google has taken a similar approach, building very sophisticated webapps like Google Maps using entirely open tools.
By eschewing plugins like Flash, both Apple and Google are driving the web toward more open technologies.
While SproutCore’s promise may seem a bit overhyped, keep in mind that it’s also very early on and most details are only in the hands of Mac developers.
That, coupled with SproutCore, gives Apple a very nice in-road to the operating-system-as-a-platform and, as an added bonus for Apple, makes it dead simple to get Apple-style webapps running on your Windows desktop.
With social networks and online office suites fast becoming the primary “apps” for many users, Apple seems to recognize that the future seems less about what operating system you use than which on/offline apps you can access.
But Adobe has plans for that space as well and recently launched an update to AIR, which enables desktop Flash apps.
If Apple wants to make sure that the future of webapps is in open technologies it needs to counter AIR and that’s exactly what SproutCore appears designed to do.