FT claims to “push the bounds” of HTML5 with app update

05 APR 2013

The Financial Times announced an update to its HTML5-based app, stating that it is “continuing to push the bounds of HTML5, benefiting from the better tools and coding patterns that are emerging”.

The company also said that it “continues to share our learning and experiences with the development community”, including organising conferences, releasing open source code, and helping browser vendors and standards bodies “define the web of the future”.

Rob Shilston, director of FT Labs, said: “We’ve kept innovating to take advantage of the improvements in HTML5 capabilities, incorporating many technological features to support new devices.”

The FT has been something of a bellwether for HTML5, at a time when some other players have found the technology – despite its promise – has been unable to meet current needs.

The most obvious example of this is Facebook, which last year shifted to a native development model in order to improve the performance of its apps.

In a survey last year, developers also expressed concerns related to issues such as monetisation, security, fragmentation and performance – while acknowledging HTML5’s potential for cross-platform development.

According to the publisher, in addition to being able to use the same code base across different device platforms, HTML5 also enables it to “have a direct relationship with our users… release changes without asking people to update and… fix major bugs within hours, rather than having to wait for an app store to approve the latest version”.

It also said it “means we can extend support to new platforms such as Firefox OS, Tizen and Ubuntu Touch easily”.

The new FT app gives users the choice of a “static” morning edition mirroring the newspaper, or a dynamic version which is updated during the day – and users can switch between the two.

It is also said to offer a “cleaner design with more intuitive navigation”.

It is available at launch for the iPad, and will be rolled out across iPhone, Windows 8 and Android in the coming months.

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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