In an effort to circumvent the Apple’s App Store and the many restrictions and rules that come with it, a startup out of New York named Onswipe has introduced a web-based, app-free publishing platform for tablets. Describing itself as an outlet for “insanely easy tablet publishing,” Onswipe has moved from being a plug-in for self-hosted WordPress installations that has powered the default iPad view for WordPress.com blogs, to a new platform designed to work with multiple content management systems and content networks.
The new platform provides publishers with a way to build touch-enhanced web experiences without creating a native app, which will give those at odds with Apple’s ever-evolving subscription guidelines a new way to publish on tablets. Publications such as the Financial Times have already avoided the App Store and focused on making its tablet presence through the web only.
Although Onswipe originally sought to sell its platform to publishers, according to GigaOm, it’s now able to offer the platform for free (along with revenue sharing agreements), thanks to a capital infusion of $5 million. TechCrunch reported that publishers signed-on as launch partners include Marie Claire, Slate and Forbes.
Onswipe Co-Founder and CEO Jason Baptiste’s main argument for his platform, according to GigaOm, is that apps are more suited for games and actions such as listening to music, rather than content-related purposes. He has argued that apps are not ideal for publishers or users when it comes to content-driven purposes.
Although that’s an interesting and varied point, it remains to be seen whether other publishers will follow in the footsteps of the platform’s launch partners. It’s likely that non-partnering publishers will wait to see what Onswipe and similar platforms create in terms of revenue for publishers before even considering to abandon the app approach altogether.