It’s a big week for Apple. Not only did Steve Jobs announce the availability of the iCloud yesterday — which wasn’t much of a surprise — but it’s also gearing up to start taking 30% of in-app purchase revenues in a few weeks. With that in mind, some publishers have been fighting back.
As Apple was closing deals with major record companies to allow for the streaming of music from iCloud, The Financial Times was working on the release of its new web app. According to the press release:
The Financial Times has today launched a new, faster and automatically updating app available directly through a web browser at app.ft.com. The FT is the first major news publisher to launch an app of this type, which will allow readers to access its award-winning journalism easily and quickly across a broad range of tablet and smartphone devices. As part of the launch, the new FT Web App will provide free access to FT content during launch week.
While FT says the new web app will allow for real-time updating and other improvements, the timing is clearly meant to skirt Apple’s in-app purchase policies. The HTML 5-based app allows the FT to bypass not only the App Store, but the Android market — not to mention reach readers on PCs and other less mobile devices. (Read more about HTML 5.) The Financial Times surely isn’t the only newspaper planning such a move, and we’re likely to see more publishers moving away from the completely closed app platforms.
Meanwhile, iCloud has been less than revolutionary in the world of digital music. As Paid Content reports:
From Apple’s description it appears that the primary aim of iTunes in the Cloud is storage: music will be stored locally rather than delivered from a remote location. And the basic service—as it appears now—focuses on a users’ existing music library, rather than around subscriptions to services that deliver music over the airwaves, the basic paid business model behind the streaming services.
Before the official announcement was even made, I found myself wondering, “So what?” The whole thing seemed anti-climatic to me. So my songs are stored in the cloud instead of on my hard drive. While this may be good news for my laptop’s storage capacity, it doesn’t do much to radically change the way I listen to or purchase music.