Born on the web, Tumblr meets the challenges of going native on iPhone

"It’s hard to ignore how focused and intimate our time is with our phones," Tumblr lead designer Peter Vidani says. "You’re a lot closer to your content. You’re often by yourself." Since Tumblr adopted Tumblerette as its own iPhone client back in 2009, Vidani’s been in charge of creating a visceral mobile experience for a site growing at warp speed. The company recently released version 3.2 of its app — its first venture off the web and into the language of desktop and mobile applications. Tumblr’s new app only took a few months to build, but required a strange and new way of looking at things on the part of its creators. A site that got its sea legs in the hyper-flexible world of web browsers has grown up and gone native.