Reading Material: Will mobile web kill off the App Store

Cute little Fennec.There’s an interesting article up on Wired this weekend that’s worth a look if you have the time. The focus of the story is Fennec, Mozilla’s new mobile browser. It’s meant to be the closest thing to a desktop browser you can get for a mobile device, replete with features that have to date required native apps to work. Features like full Java and HTML5 support.

That kind of flexibility is great for developers and users, but it’s a promise we’ve seen before. Remember that Java pitch from so long ago? Java was supposed to be the great equalizer, allowing one string of code regardless of machine. Different hardware capability and Java versions meant that never happened, and ambitious developers spent more time debugging than adding new features.

It’s hard to say whether things could be different this time around. It could be fantastic for consumers, leaving us to make the choice between PC and Mac, PS3 and Xbox 360, Android or the iPhone based on more than just native Facebook support, or whatever else becomes the flavor of the month.

Check out the full article on Wired.


Reading Material: Can in-app sales and the iPad save publishing?

Apple tablet concept.There’s a good read up on Wired’s Gadget Lab about Apple’s recent removal of in-app purchase restrictions for free iPhone apps. The article suggests that the move, when implemented with the Apple tablet, could be the defib the publishing industry needs.

There are already a couple apps out there using this model, though they weren’t free to begin with. The McSweeney’s app, for instance, allowed you to purchase six months of content on installation. From there it was a subscription service for more of the premium goods. Wired thinks newspapers and magazines could use this model to differentiate premium quality content from the everyday stuff like blogs and user content.

The key to the publishing transformation, though, is the Apple tablet. For my part, I really don’t like to read content exclusively on my iPhone. I love the flexibility to do so as I please, but having content limited to just that little screen is exactly the reason I’ve avoided the McSweeney’s app. It’s just too small to use for all of my daily reading. A tablet would change that, offering the real estate necessary to make daily reading an enjoyable experience.

For more on Apple’s plan to pluck a struggling industry from the brink, check out the original post at Wired.


Reading Material: How To Rip Your Music Like A Pro

Reading Material.I started this post over on Fearless Gamer to cover the reading I do throughout the week but don’t have time to post. This edition comes courtesy of Gizmodo, where John Herrman covers ripping your music library like you’re a true audiophile.

“What about iTunes?” Someone is going to ask it. You might not be aware that iTunes results in a lossy conversion of your favorite CDs, imports album art that can only be read by Apple products, and occasionally misses some important tags. Herrman does a great job of covering the options available to both Mac and PC users for creating a digital library that commands respect.