Financial Times outs web-based iOS app, Newsstand shaking with anger

Financial Times outs web-based iOS app, Newsstand shaking with anger
Economists and financiers know better than everyone else that we live in a world where a dollar saved is a dollar earned. The crafty people at the Financial Times newspaper might have been pretty upset to learn that Apple not only charges 30% of the applications' price tag in the App Store, but also takes a 30% cut of in-app purchases, which will be enforced to, well, newspaper subscriptions in just a few weeks' time.

This eats away at the profit the publications are making, and that is why there was a public outcry against this haircut by many publishers. FT, however, found a way around Apple's 30% subscription charge by coding an HTML5 webpage that looks and behaves like an app, which can be accessed via a simple URL in a browser, thus avoiding the App Store subscription fee, and still offering a Financial Times app to iOS users.

Once you visit the URL on your iOS device, you can add the app to a homescreen, and have your articles stored for offline viewing, if that's your thing. A service called Clippings for reading content later on any device will be added, too.

They coded in HTML5, since the nascent web standard allows to tailor this app for other mobile operating systems afterwards, like Android, for example. Moreover, updates don't need to be approved, as it would be the case inside the App Store, and thus rolled out faster, and without restrictions.

This might really start a trend for other publications to follow, thus emptying the virtual shelves of Apple's fancy new subscription management app Newsstand, that was announced the other day when iOS 5 was unveiled. Have a look at Financial Times's web-based iOS app demo in the video below.

source: FT via TechCrunch


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9 Comments

1. toottoot unregistered

haaa! haaa!

2. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

well played.... we may see more developers focusing on the web and its potential to avoid certain fees and restrictions

3. cc16177

Posts: 312; Member since: May 09, 2010

(Nelson from Simpsons voice) Ha-Ha!

4. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

I doubt this story s over. If FT copied the 'look-and-feel' of Apple-licensed functions (like in-app purchasing), there is probably a copyright infringement lawsuit awaiting....

5. jbash

Posts: 345; Member since: Feb 07, 2011

anything that doesnt go apples way is a lawsuit

6. joey18

Posts: 647; Member since: Jul 20, 2010

nothing is free with live in america if wan everthing free go to china

8. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

I really don't know why they charge for news. Don't they have ads to support them? News should be free.

11. Forsaken77

Posts: 553; Member since: Jun 09, 2011

You get charged when you buy a newspaper right? Well this is a digital newspaper. These news outlets pay ALOT of employees, reporters, and photographers. I doubt the advertisements for the app covers even 10% of that. The actual paper ads generate more income than app ads.

10. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Hey that's their option and anyone else's. What will be intereting is how much market share they get through iOS vs those that choose the app store and newsstand.

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