Microformats on Safari/iPhone

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I’ve become one of the ranked mass­es of iPhone users, and now that I’ve come to terms with its lim­i­ta­tions I’m gen­er­al­ly pret­ty hap­py with it. One thing that strikes me as pret­ty strange, how­ev­er, is the lack of sup­port for the com­mon data for­mats iCal­en­dar and vCard — and, as a result of that, the non-exis­tent sup­port of the hCal­en­dar and hCard micro­for­mats — in Safari.

It seems to me that a device such as the iPhone, with its built-in cal­en­dar and address book, would be able to make great use of the above micro­for­mats to pull con­tact data and events from web pages; it is, in fact, almost the per­fect device for doing so.

The Safari team, how­ev­er, have decid­ed instead to use their own phone num­ber recog­ni­tion sys­tem high­light num­bers embed­ded in web pages, and sim­i­lar tech­nol­o­gy to har­vest address­es from maps and SMS mes­sages. No way to get con­tacts from web pages, though, and no way to get cal­en­dar data at all.

Like­wise, the desk­top ver­sion of Safari has no native micro­for­mats sup­port, rely­ing on a third-par­ty app (for OS X only) as the only method of brows­er inte­gra­tion. I mean, even IE has (lim­it­ed) sup­port for micro­for­mats in their forth­com­ing ver­sion!

But even if micro­for­mats sup­port is too much to hope from Safari, the lack of sup­port for iCal­en­dar and vCard is pos­i­tive­ly bewil­der­ing. If Apple don’t pro­vide a way to auto­mat­i­cal­ly har­vest our data, they could at least recog­nise the stan­dard for­mats when we trans­form it ourselves.

I look on this as a missed oppor­tu­ni­ty by Apple; and there aren’t many of those.

1 comment on
“Microformats on Safari/iPhone”

  1. …this is rather dis­ap­point­ing news…I am look­ing to imple­ment this very fea­ture on a cur­rent project. Any infor­ma­tion on a work around, progress or devel­op­ments in this area would be wel­come and much appreciated