Amazon and VUDU Go ‘Web App’ for the iPad and other Tablets

The reality is native apps are only better than cross-platform web apps in a small number of instances. Publishers are starting to realize that not only is it easier to build device “optimized” web apps for TV, tablet, mobile, etc., but that they can also help their bottom line by sidestepping a platform’s in-app payment and subscription requirements, which in turn helps keep service and product offering prices low for consumers. Basically, going web app is a win-win for both parties in some cases.

As such, Amazon and VUDU have seen the light and are announcing the availability of Kindle Cloud Reader (supports Chrome, Safari on Windows, Mac/iOS, Linux, Chrome OS) and VUDU has just rolled out an iPad optimized version of their browser-based movie streaming service. As far as I can tell, the Kindle Cloud Reader is nearly as good as the native Kindle app for the iPad — except the cloud reader includes full Kindle Store access within the experience (a feature Amazon had no choice but to forgo unless they wanted to pay Apple a 30% cut for any sales derived through the app). Wired, says otherwise — their laundry list of grievances here. VUDU, on the other hand, basically is providing everything computer users have been getting through their browser-based offering. Yep, that means that video streams are limited to SD 480p with stereo sound.

What are your thoughts on the topic of native vs. web apps? Would you be willing to pay 30% more for services/products to cover the associated cost of using a full featured native app? Because that’s essentially what it comes down to for these companies, unless you’re Netflix and get a pass from Apple.

Related: AllThingsD — How Media Companies Play With Steve Jobs’s New Rules: Give In, Go Around or Compromise

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Filed in: Content Providers, Industry Buzz, Portable Media Players