The release of a Financial Times app that bypasses Apple’s App Store is a warning shot at the iPad maker’s quest to rule the high seas of digital publishing.
Launched just hours after Apple announced Newsstand, the iPad maker’s destination to access digital versions of mags and rags, FT made clear why it created the app:
“We are determined to make it as accessible as possible for the user,” John Ridding, chief executive of the FT told Reuters. “Readers will be able to get our journalism through whatever device or channel they may choose.”
Of course, that’s in addition to the British daily not having to pay a 30 percent commission for the privilege of having its iOS version appear in Apple’s Newsstand.
Some of the other advantages of FT having its own, HTML5-based app are spelled out nicely by GigaOm’s Bobbie Johnson. First, the app is independent of anybody, ending the possibility that any of its content will be blocked. Second, updates will be automatically performed via the Web and won’t need to go through Apple. Lastly, the app isn’t OS specific, so there’s no need for readers to download separate apps for different devices and publishers like the FT won’t need to pour money into developing separate apps.