The Onion’s new free iPad app made with HTML5

“The satirical Onion newspaper has recently struggled with the same problems as other less-jocular print news outlets in America: a dwindling print readership and evaporating local advertising,” Nick Bilton reports for The New York Times. “To battle this inevitable change, The Onion has taken on the transition from print to digital with a growing portfolio of downloadable mobile apps.”

MacDailyNews Take: The Onion started as a printed newspaper? (Seriously, we thought they started as a Web site! Alas, Wikipedia confirms our ignorance.)

Bilton reports, “On Friday, The Onion released a free iPad application that showcases its comical news articles and videos… Michael Greer, chief product officer at The Onion, said the company’s mobile apps are quickly generating more traffic for the newspaper, with mobile readers now representing 20 percent of all readership on The Onion sites.”

“When creating the new iPad application, developers chose to build the experience primarily using HTML5, the new Web programming language that allows for full interactivity online,” Bilton reports. “‘We chose to build the iPad app in HTML5 so we could avoid having to learn a new programming language,’ said Mr. Greer. ‘We are a small company and we wanted to keep the development as simple as possible as we’re now managing a number of other apps.'”

Bilton reports, “The Onion is able to offer the iPad application as a free download by partnering with Scion, the Toyota car brand, which is sponsoring the development and distribution of the publication, Mr. Greer said.”

MacDailyNews Take: Toyota makes Scions?! (Just kidding, that one we knew.)

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: More info and download link for The Onion for iPad app via Apple’s iTunes App Store here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “James W.” for the heads up.]

12 Comments

      1. Before that they said… ‘using HTML5, the new Web programming language’.

        “When creating the new iPad application, developers chose to build the experience primarily using HTML5, the new Web programming language that allows for full interactivity online,”

  1. I love the way The Onion peels away the layers to give incite-ful news analysis. All ium aside, the other news outlets shall ot-ways follow in The Onion’s furrows. For quer-cetin, they are the best. Like KillBill, it brings tears to my eyes.

  2. Yep, the Onion started as a free paper weekly right here in Wisconsin. Their lead stories had drawings instead of photos when they started out. But they always seemed to have a really good business sense — LOTS of ads. I suspect that had some good business coaching to keep them on track, right from the start.

    I once interviewed for a job with them, doing layout using pagemaker (or was it quark?) on a mac II. But the hours didn’t work for me (mostly weekend), so we didn’t move forward.

  3. Yeah, the Internet has really made The Onion suffer. If only the paper could go back to it’s good old days of being distributed in a few grocery stores in Wisconsin. If only.

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