Last evening Issuu announced the beta release of their HTML5 app, opening their collection of thousands of magazines to the iPad and other devices. Before this release, Issuu was rough to access on an iPad; Issuu was built out of Flash, so for basic iPad accessibility publishers needed to upload their files into a “single page – continuous” format, similar to a standard PDF reader, and not the magazine style format which has become what they’re known for.
On their GetSatisfaction page they explain the issues they’ve faced to get in the app store:
Our app has been submitted 3 times, and all 3 times Apple rejected it, even though we made the changes they asked for. The latest reason for rejecting our app was that Apple wanted us to put documents under censur. Issuu advocates free publishing, and don’t want to censur documents!
And since we do not share Apple’s attitudes toward which documents to be censored, because we work with the European standards, we can not comply with this requirement.
I think this HTML5 app is just going to explode with popularity. Issuu already serves 33 million monthly readers, has 250 000 publications uploaded monthly, and they’re already the 195th most popular website in the US. It’s a pity to have to work around Apple’s restrictions, but users are finally gaining the mobile access they’ve been waiting for.
You can find their HTML5 app here, but it should be stressed that it’s still very much in beta with more features rolling out soon. Issuu goes over the app’s current limitations in their FAQ.