For the last year or so, I’ve been looking for ways to create content that will be viewable across devices. At Pearson, the entire sales force is on iPads. To date, there hasn’t been a good HTML5 tool for designers. We’ve been looking at developing in Flash Pro, packaging for iOS, and exporting a SWF for the web. An Apple Enterprise Developer license would allow us to distribute internally without going through the app store (which is very slow and approval is not guaranteed). This has proven cheaper than many other custom development options, but still more expensive than our clients can afford in many cases.
I was delighted to find that Chris Converse of Cōdify Design Studio, has done a wonderful job documenting a solution that marries a web site with a mobile app in his Create an iPad Web App course. His course shows how you can detect whether a user is on an iPad, and whether the user is running from the web or as a web app. If the user is running your site on the web, you can prompt them with instructions (2-clicks) to install the app to their home screen. Once on the home screen, your site work very much like a standard iPad app. No app store approval required, and no annual developer license fee!
There’s still the issue of no HTML5 design tool, but we hope InDesign->HTML5 will be a step forward for designers and we’re definitely going to work toward including web app functionality into InDesign->HTML5.
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