There’s a Website for That

This is all getting a little silly.

Yesterday, Wired’s Gadget Lab blog posted a speculative piece asserting that, in the wake of recent App Store takedowns, news organizations might want to take a cautionary approach when creating applications for the iPad, lest they unwittingly submit to potential censorship from Apple.

Trouble is, the post is shot through with the bizarro, “Tablets are the end of history!” assumptions that have gripped news organizations (and the publishing industry in general) since well before the iPad was even unveiled.

Where did we get this myopic assumption that in order to participate in the “iPad universe” newsrooms must author their own native applications? There’s already a phenomenal, censorship-free way to reach this new potential iPad audience: It’s called a website. (You know, that place where news venues already have millions upon millions of readers, most of whom they seem not to know what to do with.) eyond the haptic feedback bits, there is precious little in the iPad news app demos we’ve been seeing that can not be done in a Web browser, right now. Yes, really. But because this new gadget vaguely apes a form factor some folks are familiar with (“Hey, it’s shaped like a magazine now!”) the universe has suddenly been reinvented and all the rules have changed? Poppycock.

Don’t want Apple (or Amazon, or Sony, or whoever) controlling your delivery channel?

Then put some of that money into creating new and innovative features for your website, where it should have been all along.


In a mildly amusing but important aside, I’ll mention that much of the Wired post is a complete non sequitur because news organizations have already been making apps for the App Store for some time now—for the iPhone—with nary a hint of the aforementioned censorship boogeyman. Just because the screen got bigger doesn’t mean the landscape shifted.