Fine Woodworking and the iPad
Ever since the release of Apple’s iPad in the Spring of 2010, the unit’s lack of Flash capability has stood out as a sore point for consumers. But the headache has been even more acute for publishers who have been forced to adapt websites built to operate on the industry standard (at least for the moment) for online video viewing—ie Flash.
Here at FineWoodworking.com, we’ve been fielding plenty of questions concerning the site’s compatibility going foward, and I thought it might be appropriate to fill site users in with regards to where we’re at right now, as well as where we’re going in the near future.
PDF ARTICLES STILL AVAILABLE
If you wish to view and print out conventional PDF versions of our articles, don’t worry, those article files aren’t going anywhere. Nearly every piece we’ve ever published is available for download, printing and/or saving as a PDF file.
Apple’s reasons for not building Flash capability into its iPhones and iPads are purely business/political. Instead of allowing Flash videos to play, Steve Jobs is banking on HTML5–which makes it possible to view videos online without any third party (Flash) intervention—to become the new norm. To be perfectly blunt: HTML5 is where it’s at, but I can’t help but gripe over the fact that it would have made a heck of a lot more sense to have made Apple’s new devices compatible with both platforms. Oh well. That’s neither here nor there. And maybe my gripe is the reason Steve Jobs goes to sleep at night atop a pile of crisp $100 bills and I am left to muddle about with the rest of the plebians. Jobs is a heck of a lot more prescient than I am!
Where are we At?
Since the appearance of the iPad, Fine Woodworking has been re-encoding hundreds-upon-hundreds of videos in order to make them playable on the iPad. The good news is that at this point, approximately 90% of our video content is fully iPad compatible. So for those of you who were understandably frustrated by the inability to watch Mike Pekovich slam out a dovetail on a slim iPad, the wait is over.
Our next hurdle in the iPad arena concerns Fine Woodworking’s new digital issues. After their recent release of this members-only benefit, some folks griped about the fact that they couldn’t kick their feet up and view the latest issues on their Apple devices. Currently, the vendor who handles our digital issue technology is ramping up to release an update which will solve this problem and allow you to digitally flip through page-after-page of Fine Woodworking magazine, right on your iPads.
The bottom line is, Apple certainly threw a massive curve ball at the online publishing industry last year, but we’ve been hard at work, coming up with solutions and rolling them out incrementally. I’ll be keeping you all informed the moment new updates are made.
Please feel free to post any and all questions in the comments section below. I’ll be watching this post like a hawk for the next few days and will have answers for you as soon as possible.