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News   - 02/18/2010

ABC rushes to create iPad content

THE ABC is leading the charge in the rush to get content onto new tablet devices and is talking to technology companies to have apps for the Apple iPad ready to go this year.

A senior executive at Adobe revealed that the ABC was keen to strike up a partnership with the company, whose Flash Player technology is being used by other media groups to bring their content onto the iPad and a range of similar tablets due to be put on the market this year.

Adobe's senior experience design manager, Jeremy Clark, said he had received an email from the ABC yesterday seeking a similar partnership to the one with the magazine Wired.

''They think they have a lot of interesting content that they'd like to get out to tablet devices,'' he said.

Wired recently became the first magazine to show off a complete, specially designed version for tablet devices, which readers can browse using touch. It had worked with Adobe on the project for six months.

Many other leading titles, including The New York Times, GQ, Vanity Fair and Sports Illustrated, have tablet apps in the works.

The first iPads are due to hit the market next month but it was revealed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that several other iPad-like tablets from big PC manufacturers, running a range of operating systems including Google's Android and Windows, would also be on sale this year.

Mr Clark said Australian newspaper publishers had also expressed interest but he could not provide details. He believed tablet versions of Australian newspapers would be available in the second half of this year, once tablet devices were on sale.

Mr Clark has not yet heard from Australian magazine publishers but expects this to change as Wired's tablet edition becomes better known.

The iPad's Safari browser does not support Flash but Adobe has developed tools to allow Flash-based content to work on the device, provided the apps are accepted by Apple on its App Store.

Abigail Thomas, head of strategic development in ABC Innovation, confirmed the move but was unwilling to give details as it was all ''still yet to be worked out''. But Ms Thomas said: ''We are very interested in these tablets because we believe that it will bring about a very different relationship with our readers than other platforms. That's why we are looking to develop content specifically for it.''

She said the larger screen and multi-touch function of the iPad was attractive for streaming longer content. ''It's going to be an entertainment device. Whereas the iPhone is where you might get quick bites of news with this [the iPad] you can imagine people sitting back on the sofa and enjoying something longer.''

Source: Smh.com.au    
 
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