According to Ed Silverstein on TMCnet's sister site TechZone360, The Financial Times recently released a web app at app.ft.com based on HTML5 and in doing so has shown the Splinternet may be reversing course. As you may recall, I coined the term Splinternet in 2008 to describe the splintering of app environments on the web. Programmers currently utilize so much overhead to program for various environments that they take precious resources from differentiating their apps. The scenario is reminiscent of the hundreds or thousands of printer drivers developers had to provide with their software before Windows became popular and handled this task for the development community.
Some of the options available pertain to font size and region settings
An alarming number of new app stores – Apple, Android and RIM have made life more difficult for programmers and certainly haven’t done any favors for customers who may not have a device compatible with the software they would like to use.
So how is the FT app? Awesome – it is indistinguishable from the native iPad WSJ app I use on an iPad – and it also works on an iPhone. It even allows you to specify a local storage cache of 50 MB for articles and other content which is useful if you want to download the latest news before getting on a plane or train with no access. It gave me a free week of usage as a non-FT subscriber so you likely want to check it out soon as I am not sure if this offer will last forever.
The only downside to the app is there doesn’t seem to be a way to undo the increased storage amount you specify. At least for now. In everyday use it works amazingly well and I am fascinated with how closely it resembles native iPad and iPhone apps.
Sections allow you to quickly navigate to areas of interest
I am so passionate about the topic that TMC, the company where I am CEO partnered with Crossfire Media to sponsor an event focused on HTML5 – to evangelize the market and educate the next generation of web designers, decision-makers, developers, investors, entertainment and media companies about how they can leverage HTML5 as well and in the process gain the freedom that comes with designing apps which don’t have to be approved by another (potentially competitive) company or organization.
The DevCon5 HTML5 developer conference takes place at the Kimmel Center in New York, July 27-28 and I hope to see you there. Please be sure to register ASAP as space is limited.
One last point - the app works great on an iPhone and other devices as well - this of course is the advantage of HTML5 - write once, run everywhere.