A new crop of startups aims to turn the iPad reading experience into the immersive and beautiful activity it was always meant to be. Along the way, they may transform how we browse the web and who makes money on mobile devices. And with the introduction of app-like HTML5, publishers may have new reason to charge for digital content.The companies OnSwipe, Pulse, and Flipboard have “appified” content: made it as easy and pleasant to read, share, and experience as the iPad seemed to promise from the start. Their CEOs, Jason Baptiste and Akshay Kothari, respectively, as well as the editorial director of Flipboard recently culled from Time Inc., Josh Quittner, will be speaking at Business Insider’s upcoming IGNITION: Future of Media, conference taking place Nov. 30 to Dec. 1, 2011, in New York. You can get an early-bird ticket here.
Since 2010, the much buzzed-about Flipboard has enabled web users to transform content from social network and other web sites into a magazine-like experience on the iPad.
OnSwipe allows users to turn any web site into an app-like experience on the iPad, complete with touchscreen controls and a sleek visual interface. Sites can become like digital magazines. OnSwipe debuted with the likes of Marie Claire and other brand-name content.
And Pulse is a content reader that transforms the standard ho-hum html web site into a visual “mosaic.” The service is so charming that Steve Jobs himself called it out onstage during a 2010 keynote.
At IGNITION: Future of Media, we’ll be talking about the implications of these services: what they mean for consumers and who profits. Are they really better than the browser for displaying content on a tablet? Do they elevate what we read by leveraging the tablet’s interface — for free! Will they provide a “tablet solution” for magazines still haven’t released apps?
Then there’s the moolah. OnSwipe adds interactive and sophisticated ads to formerly staid web-native content. Will appify-ing content for tablets finally unleash that massive mobile-advertising market folks have spent years prophesying – but which still does not exist?
And HTML5 means even further opportunities to create app-like experiences. Will these experience justify charging consumers once more? Will it create a subscription market – and thereby reverse the drain on cash flow that has made the web into a revenue rat-hole for many publishers?
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