Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Truth in Advertising: What “iPad Ready” Really Means

Dan Rayburn, the cantankerous and clever Web video analyst, has today’s iPad “gotcha”: Many of the sites Apple claims are “iPad ready,” i.e., they work without the use of Adobe’s (ADBE) Flash, are only “iPad ready” in a limited way.

From Rayburn’s Businessofvideo.com:

While videos on the home page work or featured content works, many times when you go a layer down, you can’t get the content. For instance, on the New York Times site, all it takes is clicking on a few links to get blank pages that tell you, “In order to view this feature, you must download the latest version of flash player here”. What? According to Apple, I thought the New York Times site was “iPad ready”. No, Apple wants you to believe it is, but when a lot of the content I am trying to view on the New York Times tells me to download Flash, that’s not my idea of “iPad ready”… “Some” content on these sites works on the iPad, but to imply the “site” is iPad ready is a flat out lie.

To be fair, Apple (AAPL) doesn’t claim that every element of the “iPad ready” sites it highlights will work. As I noted last week:

Check out the description Apple uses for each of the sites it calls out and you’ll see that “iPad-compatible” doesn’t mean “completely free of Flash.”

In many cases, Apple can’t say that all of the sites’ videos will play on the gadget. Just “most” videos, or “recently published” ones.

And, in fact, I noted last month that some sites being designed specifically for the iPad (including The Wall Street Journal, which like this site, is owned by News Corp.) were primarily designed to work on the homepage.

The truth is that most publications had to scramble hard to prep their iPad sites in time for last weekend’s launch–and the big ad dollars that accompanied it–but weren’t able to get to everything.

Disclosure: I’m moderating a panel for Rayburn’s Streaming Media East conference next month.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus