Short version: I built an HTML5-based iOS app, and you can download it here.
But when I implemented touch events and tried it on my iPad, I immediately discovered that it was insanely more fun with multi-touch than it was with a mouse. Of course I could have just made it a web app and left it at that, but I’d been looking for an excuse to experiment with the Apple App Store, so I decided this would be it.
I’ve never approved of HTML-based apps that attempt to replicate native look-and-feel or native functionality. It can be done, but it usually just results in the uncanny valley: glitchy page transitions, scrolling that doesn’t feel right, and components that look like they came from the previous OS version.
So my first requirement was that it be indistinguishable from a native app. I think I’ve mainly accomplished that, which I’m pretty happy about. And fortunately, a canvas-based app makes it easy to stay away from native look-and-feel.
I know I could have built it with native code and gotten amazing performance on older devices – but I frankly just don’t have time to really learn another platform. It’s hard enough to keep up with the web, and that’s where I want to stay focused.
One more apology: I’m charging $0.99 for it, mainly because I’d like to get back some of the developer license cost. I’m planning to make some enhancements to it, and in a year or so I’ll probably make it free. If you do try it out, please let me know what you think!