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Thanks for the useful summary of iPhone web-app tricks. I’ve been doing a bit of mobile-specific front-end work recently so I’d seen some of these tips, but not all of them and definitely not all in one place.
I want to chime in with the debate about scaling, echoing Rob L’s concern over preventing users from scaling. I think it’s an accessibility “no-no” and I“m constantly frustrated by the number of mobile site design articles advocating the idea. The web development community at large has spent the last 8-10 years collectively discussing how flexibility of design is the most practical way to help users of the widest range of abilities and devices, why suddenly stop when the pretty, hi-def, touchable screen from Apple becomes so popular?
Whilst I can see (no pun intended) Sarah’s point that native iPhone apps don’t scale with pinch (unless you turn on the phone’s accessibility features), I can’t see that as justification for preventing rescaling of a web app. Apple have picked a standard font-size for their native apps that’s pretty readable by a good range of users (apart from the SMS app which is dreadful), but there’s absolutely no guarantee designers will choose font-sizes or a visual rhythm that fits well with all users’ visual abilities, finger size or dexterity. in fact, a great many designers have a preference for small fonts.
If you’re going to encourage designers and developers to turn scaling off, at least encourage them in the same breath to research text-sizes readable by the widest range of users.