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Condé Plans iPad Versions Of Its Top Magazines While Trying, With Adobe, To Coerce Apple Into Accepting Flash

March 2, 2010

We were all impressed and actually quite excited about Condé Nast's iPad version of their award winning magazine, Wired. Well, according to the New York Times today, these iPad plans also extend to some further publications:

GQ will have a tablet version of its April issue ready. Vanity Fair and Wired will follow with their June issues, and The New Yorker and Glamour will have issues in the summer

While this might sound like a good news, there is another side of the story.  AllThingsD is reporting that while these publications might indeed hit your iPad very soon, they won't all be given the same treatment as Wired. Apparently, the invoked reason is that Condé has an issue with Apple refusing to integrate Flash on their device or as Kafka puts it:

it won’t create similar iPad apps for other titles unless Apple and Adobe figure out how to work together.

In consequence, most of the iPad versions of these Magazines will be most likely similar to what you can already access on your iPhone, not the "flashy" demo you saw by Wired.

So what's the story there? Well, it's just another game of corporate hardball.

Technically, it makes absolutely no differences to both us, the end users, or to Conde Nast whether Apple integrates flash or not when it comes to these publications. Adobe already has the possibility to convert Condé's magazines developed on Adobe Air, like Wired, to native App Store apps.

The only difference really is a slight technicality.  For the moment, every Flash Air app running on iPhone OS needs to integrate its own copy of the Flash runtime. If Apple were to add Flash to the iPad, the app could take advantage of it directly and save a couple lines of code, as explained by Adobe's CTO to Kara Swisher a couple days ago.

The true reason of the holding back is that Adobe is a major partner of Condé Nast, and seeing that the public uproar doesn't have any impact on Apple, this is just another way of trying to get into the iPhone OS ecosystem.

In short, what Condé is saying here is: scratch our partner's back and we'll scratch yours. Unfortunately, I can assure you that Jobs won't go for this kind of blackmail, oh no he won't.

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