FT Snubs iOS Store With Slick Newspaper Webapp

FT webapp for iPad

London’s Financial Times has stuck its corporate finger up at Apple with the unveiling of a slick – really slick – webapp that looks amazing on an iPad.

Of course, it’s just a website. But one that’s highly optimised for use on iOS, with a collection of bells and whistles designed to make the experience as much like using a native app as possible.

As a webapp, it bypasses the iOS App Store, and the need to hand over 30% of the takings to Apple. But it’s so much better built than most webapps you’ve seen before.

On first visit to app.ft.com, readers are encouraged to go through a two-step process. First: add the site as an icon on the Home Screen, and second: allow it access to as much as 50MB of space on the device you’ve installed it on, so that it can download and cache as much content as possible.

The HTML5-based site is wide open and completely free for everyone until June 14th. After that, you’ll have to pay to access it. Even then, there’s still a limited free service of 10 full articles per user per month. Of course, all sign-ups and payments will be handled through another optimised web interface too.

A spokesman for Pearson, publishers of the FT, said: “Up yours, Apple. We’ll do this our way, with or without your help.”

No, wait. Actually, Pearson’s chief executive John Ridding was quoted in the paper itself saying: “This is not about Apple.”

Uh-huh.

Ridding continued: “It’s about our readers and making sure they have a consistent experience.”

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  • Dave Small

    This does not work outside of the UK, or at least it’s not working in Germany. :(

  • theguycalledtom

    Steve Jobs has readily said that HTML5 is the platform of choice for developers keen to be on iOS but wanting to avoid the closed app store ecosystem:
    http://www.fastcompany.com/165… have a whole section of their site showing off the abilities of the platform:http://www.apple.com/html5/

  • Bob Forsberg

    FT is the very latest for up to date analysis and news for insomnia.

About the author

Giles TurnbullGiles Turnbull is a freelance writer in England. He also writes for the Press Association and The Morning News. You can find out more at his website, and follow him on Twitter @gilest.

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