The Financial Times has decided to replace its aging mobile applications for iOS, Android and other platforms with a new web app based on HTML 5. The move could pave the way for more web apps based on the latest web standards — but not just because of the new features HTML5 offers.
The new web app also offers the FT a way to provide its 600,000 subscribers with access to the news while sidestepping Apple’s rules for subscription-based apps sold in the App Store. Update: While the web app is designed for the iPhone and iPad you may have some luck getting it to work with browsers on some other platforms.
The FT joins a growing number of companies that have expressed displeasure with Apple’s system, where Apple takes a 30 percent cut of all subscription revenue. The move also offers a platform agnostic approach. You can access the web app on any mobile device with a web browser that supports HTML5.
The new web app is free to use until June 14th. You’ll need to pay for a FT.com subscription to keep reading after that, with prices starting at $4.99 per week.
Some users are reporting that the initial load time is tediously slow, but mine was zippy and about as fast as waiting for Mobiputing’s new app for iOS to load. The biggest problem is some unnecessary choppiness when tapping new categories, but the overall speed of the app felt quite fast compared to similar native iOS apps.
Check out the video below for a walkthrough:
Visit app.fT.com from your mobile browser to view the Financial Times’ new HTML 5 web app.