Recently I was asked by a client to find out possibility of converting an iPhone/iOS app to web application with offline support. Here is consolidated outcome of the research which I hope can prove useful for you.
- HTML5 provides ability to develop offline web applications using local storage through Application Cache object
- This feature is available only in selected few browsers with all version of IE (including its version 10 preview 3) excluded
- Since technology is evolving, users are bound to see varying behaviors in different browsers (like Firefox prompts user to permit offline storage or not)
- If we can set a baseline of browser version, we can pretty much achieve 100% of iPhone/iOS app capability in the web app, as
- Local storage allows caching pretty much everything, i.e. scripts, images, videos, et al.
- Web app will work offline, update itself automatically when needed, switch to online when connection is available
- Only notable omissions will be iPhone hardware specific features like switching between portrait and landscape views, etc.
My research further concluded the HTML5 support in web applications is an emerging area. This translates to pretty significant learning curve for any new developer.
Here are some URLs I referred during the research, copying as they may be useful for your continuing research on the topic.