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The New York Times launches HTML5 web app for iPad, dodges Apple's in-app subscription fees

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The New York Times iPad web app
The New York Times iPad web app

Today, The New York Times announced a new HTML5 web app for the iPad, likely introduced in an attempt to avoid Apple's 30 percent cut of in-app purchases. The Times did state that "subscribers have told us they are interested in trying new ways of reading The Times across a variety of platforms" which may indicate intent to extend the new web app to Android and Windows 8. We've reached out to The New York Times for more information on future development plans. The web app for iPad is currently available to digital subscribers, and can be accessed using Safari.

Update: New York Times corporate communications manager Linda Zebian responded with the following statement:

We developed the app as part of our NYT Everywhere Strategy—which is to be where New York Times readers are—to expand our reach to all strong and promising mobile platforms and technologies. It is not an attempt to avoid Apple’s purchase fee and we have no plans to eradicate our native iOS apps, it’s just another way our subscribers can access Times content.

We wanted to test the Web App among an engaged audience of NYT subscribers, which made the iPad a natural choice. This is the first step, but the HTML5 format does allow us to explore the idea of launching Web-based apps other platforms in the future.