In the first beta releases of version 3 we can see Morfik’s initial steps in support for the creation of mobile applications. The two major targets are the iPhone and the iPad as can be clearly seen by the specialized views in the Morfik debug browser.
This is a great move for the future, not only because it might seem to open new markets for Morfik developers to explore but because of the change in computer usage patterns that is to come. If you have had the opportunity to use an iPad for a few days, you might know what I am talking about.
As has been widely commented, many iPad users are changing the their computing habits and using more and more the device in activities previously done on regular desktop or notebook computers. These users do more of their browsing on the iPad, because of its convenience or simply because it is initiated from an iPad application such as a Twitter or email client. Whatever the reason, these users are already numbered in the millions as by the end of the last quarter Apple had already sold 3.27 million iPads and can’t seem to produce them in the quantity that customers are buying.
Analysts predictions are pointing to 10 million iPads sold this year with possibly as many as 25 million units sold next year. While 35 million users might not seem like that many when compared to the overall number of Web users, believe me these are not users you want to leave out of your prospective market. These creators, early-adopters, company executives, etc.
Having been bitten by the iPad bug, I know that there are many activities I would rather do on the iPad than in a regular computer. Web browsing is certainly one of these.
In fact, access by iPad users has recently come so much to my attention that it took away some of the impact of the recent release of the Fusion Charts by Morfik. The charts are based on Flash controls which are is not supported on the iPad or iPhone.
One of Morfik’s biggest strengths has always been the fact that the application’s built with it don’t require the presence of plug-ins on the users’ computers. It is exactly this strength that now becomes an even more important selling point for the tool. In general an application built with Morfik will work unaltered in both the iPhone and the iPad.
The only situations in which Morfik has made some use of Flash was with the FileUploader control and now with Fusion Charts. There is a native alternative to the Flash FileUploader which is already supported in Morfik and I feel confident that in the future Morfik will provide an HTML5 based charting alternative to the Fusion Charts package.
Regardless of what new packages might be available in the future, Morfik’s current goal of supporting iOS devices is a great development for its users.