October 02, 2012

New York Times HTML 5 Web App May Kill the Apple App

The New York Times recently launched their new web app, powered by HTML 5, which makes it useful across a wide variety of platforms. While the new app comes with a lot of exciting features by itself, one of the most exciting is a consequence that may be an unintended one. Some have projected that the HTML 5 web app of the New York Times is actually so good that it might kill off the New York Times app for iOS.

The app, available to all subscribers, organizes its content into four distinct sections: Today’s Paper, which is reasonably self-explanatory and offers up the content that would appear in the paper itself; Trending, a section devoted to the most widely-read material that day; All Sections, which covers the waterfront of releases, and Times Wire, which is a live feed from all the latest in news. That’s a lot of content, and the use of HTML5 makes it available on a wide variety of devices.

Image via

Some, meanwhile, have wondered if this isn’t an idea to throw over the iOS-specific app. Many app vendors have chafed at Apple’s (News Alert) fees to list their app in the App Store, but at the same time, have stuck with it as there’s a massive platform of users in the App Store. The promise of HTML5, especially when used as part of a properly developed app with plenty of useful features—like the new New York Times web app would appear to be—gives rise to a possible future in which there is no “iOS app” or “Android (NewsAlert) app”, but rather, a set of web-based apps that work equally well on different platforms.

Given that the New York Times is paying Apple fully 30 percent of its earnings for the use of Apple’s subscription services, it’s a reason to build an app that isn’t dependent on Apple’s platform. Sending readers to a web app would prove an end run around Apple, but is that what’s going on here? There’s no way to tell immediately, but it may well prove to be a growing trend that gets apps out of their individual sandboxes and leaves hardware to compete on its own merits, not by the contents of its particular app marketplace.


Want to learn more about HTML5? Then be sure to attend HTML5 Summit- a DEVCON5 Event, collocated with ITEXPO Austin 2012 happening now in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at HTML Summit. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman


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