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iOS

Retail is a seriously competitive game. Even the giants need to make use of every possible marketing advantage and every possible route to a sale. Nowadays, that includes mobile e-commerce, which is, by some distance, the platform that is seeing the fastest growth in sales and revenue.

As with all cutting-edge technologies, however, it is the big boys that have been making the most of this new retail territory, which is a shame, given the struggles many small businesses are having to cope with.

But, finally, help appears to be at hand. Dashsell, a company that has thus far concentrated on providing a simple way to list items for sale online, has now launched Shops — a beta, self-service, mobile store app builder. With plans starting from free, and with web, iOS and Android versions available, it looks ideal for the small retailer. But is this the killer platform that will open a new frontier? Or is it just another cookie-cutter app studio?

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I’m a web developer; that’s my jam. I enjoy making websites, and I really enjoy trying new technologies, techniques, and hacks for websites. In 2012, that means making websites responsive. While the ‘Responsive Web Design’ movement started a few years ago, it’s really starting to pick up steam with better browser support for HTML5 and CSS 3 across all devices. Then, book and training form great organizations like A List Apart, and tools like jQuery Mobile and ZURB’s Foundation, make it really easy to create websites that are supported and look great across all devices.

The changing technology allows us to push websites forward into the realm of mobile without sacrificing quality, features, or content. There’s no reason mobile sites should be any more limited than their desktop counterparts today. So what does all this hubbub mean for web apps? We can’t really be sure how web apps will evolve, but I have a few ideas based on what I’ve read and some things I am personally doing.

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As incredible as it seems, it’s been over a year and a half since the original iPad was released, forever changing what the world thought of tablet computers. The old Tablet PCs were clunky, expensive machines that could run any Windows program, albeit slower and more awkwardly than a full computer. The iPad at first glance looks just like a scaled-up iPhone, but the wide range of apps and number of varied uses it’s found in homes, schools, and businesses has made tablets a permeant part of our computing ecosystem.

One area where the iPad and other tablets have lagged behind is with web apps. While Safari on the iPad is a modern, quite capable browser, many web apps are difficult to use with fingers, and can run very slow on slower processors. Over the past year, though, more and more web apps have been designed or updated to take advantage of the iPad’s features, including multitouch, gestures, and more. Let’s look at some of the best web apps today for the iPad, and if we miss your favorite, be sure to let us know in the comments below!

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Ever since we heard about iCloud from Steve Jobs’ last WWDC presentation, we’ve been excited for the potential of the new service from Apple. It promised to make it so simple to keep documents, pictures, email, contacts, calendar, tasks, and more synced between your devices, you’d never have to worry about it again. Then, once we got a sneak peak at the web apps, it was even more apparent that iCloud was a huge web app initiative for Apple.

Fast forward to today, and iCloud is now in the wild, ready for anyone with an iOS 5 or OS X Lion device to signup for free. That’s the most interesting twist, though: iCloud is free, but you have to have an Apple device from the past 3 years with the latest software updates to signup for an iCloud account. Alternately, if you already had a MobileMe account, it can be converted to a new iCloud account. Once you’re signed up, you can get a free @me.com email address, and take advantage of Apple’s beautiful mail, calendar, and contacts web apps. Plus, you can keep data synced from compatible apps.

So, have you gotten your iCloud account yet? If so, we’d love to hear what you think of it. If not, what are you waiting for? Do you plan to get an iCloud account in the near future?

If there’s one thing that should be incredibly simple today, it should be making online forms and simple pages. There’s no dearth of survey and form apps: from Wufoo to Google’s free Docs Forms, there are form solutions for every design style and budget. And if you want to take payments, share rich info, or do almost anything else you want with a form, there’s likely an app for that.

And then there’s Lanbito. I’m always on the lookout for new high-quality web apps, and Lanbito caught my eye in our Quick Look post. It’s a simple solution to making mobile forms, and best of all, it’s a touch-ready web app. That’s something you don’t often see, and Lanbito’s implementation is simply brilliant. It’s worth taking a look at, even if you’ve already got a form solution you love.

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Apple took the stage at San Francisco’s Moscone West for their opening keynote at WWDC this afternoon, announcing (or rather, reasoning in the first case) Mac OS X Lion, iOS 5 and their new service, iCloud.

iCloud is the successor to MobileMe, Apple’s previous set of web apps that synced directly with other devices, whether they be powered by Mac OS X, Windows or iOS. However, iCloud builds on those, providing a much more refined syncing environment for your devices in terms of both data and media. (more…)

Despite my thoughts on “Web Apps on Mobile Devices: Yay or Nay?”, there are some great web apps for the iPhone or iPod Touch that you definitely might consider trying out. With the power of the internet and the ease of multitouch on the iPhone, web apps certainly have a lot to offer, especially with today’s advancing web technologies.

I’ve rounded up 25 of the best web apps for the iPhone, many of which are my personal favorites. And, of course, be sure to add yours to the list by leaving a comment at the end.

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Although it’s part of my job to stay current in the world of web apps, it’s also a passion of mine. I love the web, cloud-based computing and all the exciting possibilities it holds for the future. However, I’m not exactly enthralled with web apps on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. But, why not?

Let’s take a look into the wonderful world of mobile web apps, shall we?

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With a combined app count that exceeds about 400,000 in the app stores of Apple & Android, why would anyone want to use mobile web apps? Openness and a level playground are the two things that keep web developers going.

It might be in its infancy, but HTML5 is the next 500 pound Guerrilla and much more as far as Internet is concerned. With features like plugin-less video playback, offline storage, geo location etc., HTML5 is on the verge of giving walled gardens like Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight, Cocoa a good run for their money. After the jump, we have compiled a list of HTML5 web apps developed for accessing from your smartphones.

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