Secret iPad web framework for native-like UI discovered

Done21 reports that they have discovered a new web-based framework being used by Apple on the iPad’s mobile version of Safari. First noticed when navigating to Apple’s online iPad User Guide, the framework provides a split-screen view with separately scrolling panes and a user experience similar to that of a native iPad app. Jim Hoskins of Done21 noted that the app provides a UI that shouldn’t be possible in Mobile Safari by presenting scrolling panes that can be manipulated with a single finger, complete with scroll bars. Hoskins investigated further, extracting the JavaScript and examining the code to discover that Apple had actually built an entire framework for the web application, manually reading touch events and calculating scrolling inertia. Even more interesting is that the framework, weighing in at 4,300 lines of code, was built entirely in standard web technologies: HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Hoskins dubbed the framework “AdLib” based on the prefix of the JavaScript file containing it. At this time there is no developer documentation available for this framework online or in the code itself and it appears to have been developed specifically for Apple’s own use on the iPad. The help pages for Apple’s iWork applications also provide the same user interface within the iPad Safari browser. It is unclear whether Apple has any plans to release this framework for third-party developer use. [via Mac Rumors]

Latest News