HTML5: the way to bypass Apple’s anti in-app rules

Any app listed in the App Store that isn’t free is subject to an Apple tax every time a sale is made. Developers accept that charge and in return gain access to millions of Apple device owners and potentially a large income stream.

What surprised a few companies is that this 30% cut doesn’t just cover buying apps in the store, it also applies to in-app purchases including subscriptions. That caused a few issues for publications wanting to actually make some money from a digital subscription through an iPhone or iPad. Apple’s 30% on that monthly or yearly charge removed all profit and then some making it unworkable

Today publishers can get around Apple’s in-app sales capabilities and therefore tax using HTML5. HTML5 services can replace the purchasing buttons with a dedicated Web address that takes users to a direct link to the purchasing service on the Internet.

The benefits go beyond just 30% savings. By having an independent codebase not targeted to a specific platform the app can easily be customized for every platform, which includes Android devices in the near future. There is also no approval process to go through so new features can be rolled out more quickly, there are no 3rd party guidelines or rules to abide by, and there’s no app to install, you just visit a URL instead.

The first major newspaper to take this route is international business newspaper the Financial Times. It implemented an HTML5 web app catering to both iPhone and iPad users.

While the Financial Times admit implementing its HTML5 app was not an easy job, they see it as the future due to the flexibility it offers. It favors no one platform, but lets you target many and customize for each from one code base while retaining 100% of the revenue.

With several developments from Adobe and Google, and Sprout, an HTML5 application platform has gained interest as an acquisition target. The programming language is gaining traction as connected devices grow in relevance, and there are many ways to leverage its evolving standards in every way possible. So what do you this of this one? And do you know more examples?

Please share your knowing with us!

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