While most media companies are using the HTML5 standard to make websites designed for desk- and laptop devices equally accessible on mobile devices, The Economist is going in the other direction—creating a tabletlike experience for the traditional Web—with a Google Chrome app that it plans to debut in mid-May.
The free app will allow users to view the issue at a later time without an Internet connection. Each weekly issue of The Economist will be available within the app, for subscribers, at 9 p.m. London time on Thursdays. Nonsubscribers will be able to register to read free Editor's Picks.
“The Chrome app provides an iPad-like experience where you read the print edition content in a full-screen environment but on a desktop or laptop,” said Tom Standage, digital editor for The Economist.
The iPad app is a native iOS app (using Apple's proprietary mobile operating system); the Chrome app is written in HTML5 but looks the same as the tablet app, he said.
Standage said the Web app was developed in response to readers asking for a more immersive experience on their computers.