An obvious place to try this is with reference material. In the same way that Google Maps redefined the atlas and Wikipedia redefined the encyclopedia, a truly native mobile app can do a lot to improve on the "user interface" of a traditional reference book. Our first experiment with this is a mobile reference on HTML; rather than prepare a revision of the previous printed "pocket reference" format, we've created an innovative mobile app that makes it much quicker and easier to access practical information about specific HTML elements.
As designer and author Jen Robbins put it in an email:
If you've talked to me in 2010, you probably know that I've been busy turning my book, "HTML and XHTML Pocket Reference" into a handy iPhone App. The goal was to break free of the linear page-flipping of an e-book and make the information quicker to get to via menus, tabs, and search. You can also tell the App whether you'd like to see the elements and attributes from HTML5 only, HTML 4.01 only, or both. Simon St. Laurent (of O'Reilly) and I have been working together on this little tool, and we're very excited about the results.
I'm excited too! And after a few rounds of feedback from a select group of web and mobile developers and designers, we're opening this up for a public beta. Eventually this app will be available in the iPhone App Store and the Android Market, but for now it's "just" a web page, best viewed on an iPhone (or iPod touch) at htmlref.labs.oreilly.com/beta.
The app is optimized for iPhone, though it will work on Android devices, as well as on iPads and through Safari on a laptop, but there are still bugs and kinks on those platforms. We've already gotten some great feedback, and would love to hear from you.