iPhone News Desk
How to Display Safari Address Bar on iPhone v1.1.3
OK OK, so I admit I'm already running version 1.1.3 of the iPhone firmware
By: Kevin Hoffman
Jan. 18, 2008 03:30 PM
OK OK, so I admit I'm already running version 1.1.3 of the iPhone firmware. While I think it's fantastic that I now get the ability to add web icons to the home screen, and that the home screen has multiple pages, I usually spend my first few minutes on a new version of the firmware looking for changes in Safari that might impact iPhone web application developers.
What I've noticed on the new 1.1.3 firmware is that Safari no longer auto-hides the address bar when you're scrolling... which means that web applications now look a little less "native" than they used to, especially if they were designed to fit exactly into the space on the iPhone screen _without_ the presence of the address bar. Apps like Gmail no longer cut "just right" on the fold and you can actually see some of these app "twitch" a little when the code that previously caused the address bar to hide is executed.
If you want my personal opinion on this, I'm thinking that this move is designed deliberately to make sure that people know the difference between web applications and native applications - the presence of the Safari address bar. Without that, it becomes really, really hard to tell whether you're on a web app or a local native app. This difference is trivial at the moment because the list of "legal" (e.g. non-hack-created) iPhone native applications is finite and well-known. Once the SDK comes out in "late" (I'm guessing Feb 29th) February, we're going to see a lot of applications that we've never seen before, and users will need to know whether they're looking at a web app or a native app.
That said, I've done some more experimenting and there are places where Gmail _does_ successfully scroll down past the address bar... but the address bar used to visibly animate itself away, which it doesn't seem to do anymore... Who knows, I could be on crack and nothing has changed w/Safari at all...
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