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HTML5: The platform-agnostic key to the future of publishing

Brian Fling on his company PinchZoom Press and why he built it atop HTML5.

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This post is part of the TOC podcast series, which we’ll be featuring here on Radar in the coming months. You can also subscribe to the free TOC podcast through iTunes.


Is HTML5 one of the keys to publishing’s future? Brian Fling (@fling), founder of PinchZoom, thinks so. His company’s new publishing platform is called PinchZoom Press, and it’s built atop HTML5. In this interview, Brian tells us about what PinchZoom Press can do and why it’s an important new entrant in the epublishing space.

Key points from the full video interview (below) include:

  • The platform consists of three different pieces of technology — A native app for iOS devices, a layout tool and a content management system. [Discussed at the 1:50 mark.]
  • Why choose HTML5 rather than EPUB 3? — As flexible and powerful as EPUB is, it’s still not as platform agnostic as HTML5. Plus, every device comes with a web browser but not necessarily an EPUB reader. [Discussed at 2:56.]
  • But it’s really “not about EPUB or HTML” — Don’t focus on the end client. It’s about understanding how your content is managed and how you think about how your content is presented in a mixed platform world. [Discussed at 5:07.]
  • Portability introduces some limitations — HTML5 is wonderful for portability and knowing that your product will render well on all platforms, but it also means you might not have access to sensors, cameras and other potentially important device features. [Discussed at 7:20.]
  • Native apps are here to stay — Yes, that means we’ll have to invest in apps across at least two platforms. The simple truth is the native app will probably always offer the best user experience for that platform. [Discussed at 10:40.]
  • Pricing is still being finalized — PinchZoom is leaning toward only charging for the content management system, and that’s likely to be a monthly fee. [Discussed at 19:45.]

You can view the entire interview in the following video.

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