Apple are still riding the backlash over it’s recent announcement to take a 30% cut on all in-app subscriptions. It’s a bold move but unnecessarily greedy, and a potential risk to their own app ecosystem. Because, waiting patiently for it’s time in the spotlight is HTML5, and specifically, HTML5 local storage.
So how does an updated website language come to the rescue of publishers everywhere?
An HTML5 website can store information locally within the browser. This means UI, profile information and functioning applet-like components are all there loaded and waiting for the visitor to return. In short, its a better platform for a publisher than having to distribute apps in the first place, paid-for or not.
If Apple’s recent move sparks development on HTML5 local storage, then we could be seeing an end to app-mania as people realise that all the functionality of their favourite publication is available via a simple link.
I think this is a healthy move anyway for apps – on Quora recently I posed the question that an app consisting of a shell for web-based feeds and static pages is just AppSpam. Like the desktop software industry who have embraced SaaS over boxed/ installable formats, producing an app for the sake of producing an app could soon be yesterday’s fad.
Currently all major browsers support HTML5 – yes, even IE8 – so in essance the technology already has a ‘distribution network’.
And will this network continue to feature iPhone and iPad browsers? Apple know only too well what the world thought of their refusal to support flash, and cutting HTML5 out the loop would be a step to far, and render web browsing onthier devices a joke. Hence then, why they introduced the stipulation that publishers may not offer cheaper off-app subscription routes – it’s like they already knew what kind of war it will be before its started!
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