NPR and WSJ building iPad friendly websites

When the iPad was first announced, it was said that the device would not support flash.  While Steve Jobs has made his stance clear that Flash will not be on the iPad or the iPhone in the near future, what’s a website that uses the technology to do? 

If you are the Wall Street Journal or the Nation Public Radio content owners, you build a website dedicated for the sole purpose of supporting iPad users.  According to Apple Insider, that’s exactly what the WSJ and NPR are planning on doing. 

It’s not completely uncommon to build websites for a particular device, Neowin does this with its mobile webpage. What is uncommon is to invest the resources to cater to a crowd that will not even make up one half of one percent initially of devices on the web. 

Steve Jobs has done a brilliant job marketing his new device, while initial sales do look particularly strong, no one knows if the device will stand the test of time.  Sure, predicting the future and altering your website to cater to one device could put you ahead of the game, or, could this all be part of Steve’s master plan to begin the removal of Flash from all websites in favor of HTML 5?

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Google stops censoring results in China?

Next Story

Mobile apps to be a $17.5b industry by 2012

45 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

When will HTML5 allow me to use the thousands of Flash apps and games out there with full GPU acceleration? Because Flash is more than banner ads and Hulu ya know.

They shouldn't do an "iPad only website". They should just convert their flash content to anything else.

Cool. Now I can listen to NPR while drinking boxed wine and writing my maifestos and conspiracy theories on my iPad. w00t!

Skwerl said,
Cool. Now I can listen to NPR while drinking boxed wine and writing my maifestos and conspiracy theories on my iPad. w00t!

Haha. There is a bit of a "far left liberal" stereotype that surrounds Apple, NPR, and Starbucks.

I probably fall into that stereotype somewhat....

Edited by Shadrack, Mar 17 2010, 5:52pm :

Skwerl said,
Cool. Now I can listen to NPR while drinking boxed wine and writing my maifestos and conspiracy theories on my iPad. w00t!

Hey now I love me some NPR but am probably closer to an Apple hater if you had to pigeonhole me and I prefer a good flavorful beer thankyouverymuch!

Digitalx said,
a.k.a iphone/ipod touch friendly which websites have been doing for some time now nothing new really.
I wouldn't want to use a mobile phone website on a 10 inch screen.

Leave it to Apple to take technology back in time.

Flash is major and HTML5 will not be adopted quickly or over night. Jobs needs to get his head out of his ass and just work to support Flash until...if...HTML5 takes over.

techbeck said,
Leave it to Apple to take technology back in time.

Flash is major and HTML5 will not be adopted quickly or over night. Jobs needs to get his head out of his ass and just work to support Flash until...if...HTML5 takes over.

How is switching to a newer and better technology going back in time? Most major websites are moving away from flash. Even Youtube is phasing it out of its site.

techbeck said,
Leave it to Apple to take technology back in time.

Flash is major and HTML5 will not be adopted quickly or over night. Jobs needs to get his head out of his ass and just work to support Flash until...if...HTML5 takes over.


It might just actually adopt quicker than we think....IE9 supports HTML5 (the last of the major desktop browsers that did not support it; All others support it in a nightly build format or a similar alternative). The problem is that the final standard for HTML5 is set for completion (even though most features are now stable) at 2012

Edited by alfaaqua, Mar 17 2010, 3:06pm :

SputnikGamer said,

How is switching to a newer and better technology going back in time? Most major websites are moving away from flash. Even Youtube is phasing it out of its site.

The key word is "moving" Most sites still use Flash and it still up in the air if HTML5 will be the dominate of the two.

What Apple doesnt get is you need to keep supporting different formats. Dont just cancel support for Flash and hope, predict, that HTML5 will come out on top and cripple your devices.

Oh, I am sorry...forgot the business model of Apple is to give the people what Apple thinks they want...

Edited by techbeck, Mar 17 2010, 3:24pm :

alfaaqua said,

The problem is that the final standard for HTML5 is set for completion (even though most features are now stable) at 2012

Exactly...dont cancel one product until the other is released and fully functional.

Flash and HTML5 have overlap, but really aren't that similar.

Very specifically Flash video versus HTML5 video is the more relevant discussion. You can't make sweeping statements that either Flash or HTML5 will "win". For the most part, they complement each other. Switching to HTML5 video only won't kill Flash.

Mike Chipshop said,
techbeck = fail
Moving is indeed the keyword as is 'forward' tsk

Ok, your post is confusing...

Why is it fail to ask for companies to keeps supporting something until something else comes along and takes over. I am all for moving forward, but not until it is fully supported.

Kirkburn said,
Flash and HTML5 have overlap, but really aren't that similar.

Very specifically Flash video versus HTML5 video is the more relevant discussion. You can't make sweeping statements that either Flash or HTML5 will "win". For the most part, they complement each other. Switching to HTML5 video only won't kill Flash.

Thank you...someone else understands and so does Android since their devices will support both. Flash is used in a LOT of sites and some will switch quickly...if at all...but a lot wont...at least not right away.

Edited by techbeck, Mar 17 2010, 4:31pm :

techbeck said,

Ok, your post is confusing...

Why is it fail to ask for companies to keeps supporting something until something else comes along and takes over. I am all for moving forward, but not until it is fully supported.

Oops yeah true *insert awkward 'looking for edit button smiley here'*

I fail to see where Flash is a standards-compliant web technology. I also fail to see where it is the responsibility of the browser to support anything other than standards-compliant web technologies.

techbeck said,

Exactly...dont cancel one product until the other is released and fully functional.

The problem is that web standards are not like regular software standards. By the HTML5 is "done" we will be looking at the next standard calling HTML5 old the way we look at HTML4 now. Both should be supported but I don't mind someone with power forcing everyone to move forward. Better than everyone wanting to stay with Flash and not move forward at all.

SputnikGamer said,

The problem is that web standards are not like regular software standards. By the HTML5 is "done" we will be looking at the next standard calling HTML5 old the way we look at HTML4 now. Both should be supported but I don't mind someone with power forcing everyone to move forward. Better than everyone wanting to stay with Flash and not move forward at all.

Apple's power is limited to their products. Just because they will only be supporting HTML5, it wont for the rest of the world to change right away. Most people use PCs, not Macs.

techbeck said,

Apple's power is limited to their products. Just because they will only be supporting HTML5, it wont for the rest of the world to change right away. Most people use PCs, not Macs.

And yet everyone complains, mostly non Mac users, complain??

SputnikGamer said,

How is switching to a newer and better technology going back in time? Most major websites are moving away from flash. Even Youtube is phasing it out of its site.

No, HTML 5 is just a superset of HTML 4 so it is a nice update but still is not way better or can do all the operation than Flash. Flash is more than a simple video player.

So, if a browser decide to use html5 instead of Flash then, it is a turn back :less features, more resource usage and such.

Magallanes said,

No, HTML 5 is just a superset of HTML 4 so it is a nice update but still is not way better or can do all the operation than Flash. Flash is more than a simple video player.

So, if a browser decide to use html5 instead of Flash then, it is a turn back :less features, more resource usage and such.

Not really considering that with the proper JavaScript library, such as say JQuery, you can do everything that Flash can do short of making games. That library is A. Free and B. works on all browsers and smart phones that is newer than 6 years old. Even IE6 works for the most part other than a few visual limitations. The only valid complaint is that you can't make games the way you can in Flash but that is no longer valid because the next version of Adobe CS has an export function in Flash to make Apps that work on the iPhone and other devices.

Long story short, developers are complaining that they have to use free tools that work on any system instead of Adobe. Everyone else is complaining because they can't get everything for free because companies want to *Warning Shocker Alert* make money.

SputnikGamer said,

And yet everyone complains, mostly non Mac users, complain??

Most Mac users I know complain. And it would make since that most non Mac users would complain...we are in the majority. And the reason we complain is that Apple is a company that is trying to control what people use/see while the rest of the world is moving away from that.

SputnikGamer said,

How is switching to a newer and better technology going back in time? Most major websites are moving away from flash. Even Youtube is phasing it out of its site.

Exactly. The truth of the matter is the consumer is going to use what works with the websites that they visit. If a website doesn't work right (especially ones that consumers are most interested in, Facebook, youtube, NPR) then they will download a web browser that is compatible. Sticking with old technology because of FUD is what held us back for so many years when IE5.5 and IE6 dominated.

techbeck said,

Apple's power is limited to their products. Just because they will only be supporting HTML5, it wont for the rest of the world to change right away. Most people use PCs, not Macs.

Just noticed a flaw in that. Apple's, and any other company's power is not limited to its product. It is limited only by their wallets. Facebook, Yahoo, and Google don't use Flash for anything other than ads which would take all of a few minutes to fix. Youtube is already ready to completely drop it once the browsers catch up and get HTML5 running and they aren't to far behind. Those are the 4 top visited sites according to most. All Apple has to do is convince whats left of the top list to follow suit and Flash will be used for nothing other than making apps.


http://www.alexa.com/topsites
http://www.neowin.net/news/fac...as-the-most-visited-website

Shadrack said,
Exactly. The truth of the matter is the consumer is going to use what works with the websites that they visit. If a website doesn't work right (especially ones that consumers are most interested in, Facebook, youtube, NPR) then they will download a web browser that is compatible. Sticking with old technology because of FUD is what held us back for so many years when IE5.5 and IE6 dominated.

The reason that IE6 stuck for so long is because a large number of websites were designed by people who only developed for IE6. The majority of home users have moved on now, its just the businesses that are stuck with it.

For the people that DO still have IE6 and 7, its the exact opposite of what you stated. They won't download a new browser just to visit a specific website, they just won't visit the website, or manage with the issues. You wouldn't buy a new car just because your current car's shocks are a bit hard for a rough country road, you'd just deal with it or find a way to avoid that road.

HTML5 is the way forward, but not for everything. Flash (like others have said) is not just a video player, it provides a lot of stuff that even HTML5 won't provide. The majority of users today are still not using a HTML5 supporting browser, sure IE6/7/8 can display HTML5 code, but they can't use any of the new tags, they just just hide the elements.

Widespread full-featured HTML5 is many years away yet. The problem here is that when HTML4 was released, there were relatively few web users. Now, we've got to remember that over a billion people have got to migrate to the new technology, and that's going to be a very slow process.

The future for Adobe Flash is less profitable, since a large subset of their user base can (and will) migrate to HTML5 in the coming years, but Flash will still have a place, albeit with a more specialist role.

One thing I am grateful for though is that, because Apple devices sans-flash are becoming more popular, people will move away from these god-awful flash only website designs which are restrictive, proprietary, and an accessibility nightmare. Flash was never meant to be used as a website factory, and HTML5 + Apple might be able to put an end to that.

Edited by Majesticmerc, Mar 18 2010, 1:58pm :

iPad friendly?!

What about tablet friendly?

Put some work into improving your website universally instead of fixing it to only work's well with one company's product.

Ozood said,
iPad friendly?!

What about tablet friendly?

Put some work into improving your website universally instead of fixing it to only work's well with one company's product.

They would be tablet friendly by making it iPad friendly because the iPad is the most restrictive platform. If it works on iPad it will work on all others since its standards call for HTML5 which if any platform doesn't support HTML5 they are getting behind.

Ozood said,
iPad friendly?!

What about tablet friendly?

Put some work into improving your website universally instead of fixing it to only work's well with one company's product.

Whether you like it or not, I'm afraid that the iPad is going to be the industry standard tablet device. Just like Neowin made an "iPhone" friendly website and other smartphone OS providers have to be at least to that level of browser compatibility in order to take advantage of.