The New York Times has just announced that the paper has launched a new, experimental HTML5 web app designed specifically for the iPad. The app is available for digital subscribers and print subscribers who link their account to an online version.
The new webapp will allow for multiple ways of reading the paper, like looking at the most popular stories, a chronological news feed, or divided the same way it is in print.
The New York Times’ stated reason for going with HTML5 is that “Our subscribers have told us they are interested in trying new ways of reading The Times across a variety of platforms. We are working constantly to develop new products that distribute our content in innovative ways, and this Web-based app is just one example of that,” According to said Denise Warren , senior vice president and chief advertising officer, The New York Times Media Group, and general manager, NYTimes.com.
However, the unspoken assumption here is that the New York Times is trying to get around Apple’s control of in-app subscriptions. Running it through HTML5 would allow for them to keep the entire cut of the subscription, and gather more information on customers.
The other advantage to HTML5 is that it’s platform agnostic. While this new version is designed for iPad users right now, it should be easily able to be read by people on any tablet — be it iOS, Android, Windows, or something completely different.