Financial Times circumvented Apple’s garden and launched a iPhone and iPad optimized HTML 5 app. When other media houses were gung ho about launching a mobile app for each and every mobile OS coming up, FT decided to go the web route. This probably is one of the better approaches in dealing with the jamboree of app stores out there. Beyond a point, it could get to you. There is iOS, Android market place, RIM’s own and Microsoft’s mobile. Not a small feat to keep up with moving targets.
Access to FT will be free for the first week of launch. The app is optimized for iPhone and iPad. Android and Blackberry will get theirs soon. The app will let users to save content for offline reading and also for reading it later. Point your iPhone and iPad browsers to : app.ft.com
“The FT Web App offers our customers flexibility and freedom of choice with access to our global journalism anytime, anywhere, with a single login or subscription. In a world of increasingly digital complexity we want to keep our service simple, easy to use and efficient to offer our customers the best possible experience of FT journalism.” Financial Times CEO John Ridding
One app to rule all the mobile devices. Simplicity at its best.
Is this the future of apps?
I guess people are waiting for someone to take the first step. To do the unconventional. Publications in the past six months had to launch apps and more apps. First comes the iPhone and iPad app with a caveat of Android app coming soon. And then the lesser OS’s like RIM and WP7 will get their apps if they are lucky or the publication is rich on cash. No one has dared to have just one mobile-web app in the fear losing audience. I expect many more publications to go this route instead of putting up with Apple and its restrictions. Not to mention Apple’s 30% pay cut.
What happens to app stores?
Let me say that the app stores are not going to be redundant anytime soon. Apple and Android together have 700,000 apps between them. That’s a whole lot of apps. To predict that the app stores will be deplete with apps would be gormless. What will happen is, some smart publications will go with HTML 5 by releasing the app which is nothing but an url for the user. Some smarter publications will release an HTML 5 along with five other mobile apps catering to each OS. At some point, there will be more HTML 5 apps will be competing with the Android and iOS apps stores. Then people will withdraw some of the mobile OS apps and stick with the top 2 app stores. Until then it is a app potpourri nightmare.
Now we need an app to manage all the HTML 5 apps. Incessant.