With its transcoding technology, Glide lets iPad users view Flash and Windows video.

Thomas Claburn, Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

July 22, 2010

2 Min Read

TransMedia's Glide media sharing and storage service on Thursday began serving iPad users a redesigned interface crafted using HTML5.

HTML5 is the emerging next-generation protocol for writing Web pages and Web applications. Promoted with a vengeance by Apple as a non-proprietary alternative to Adobe's Flash platform, HTML5 promises to bring many of the capabilities of desktop software, such as persistent storage, and mobile devices, such as orientation awareness, to Web applications.

Glide, which offers its own suite of online productivity applications in addition to cloud file management, used to be heavily reliant on Flash but has been moving away from it.

"When we started Glide, it made sense," said TransMedia CEO Donald Leka.

But since Apple CEO Steve Jobs began warning developers to avoid Flash, Leka says it has made less and less sense. "Flash has become just another development platform, and one with considerable flaws and not enough support form Adobe," he said.

Still, Glide isn't ready to ditch Flash entirely. "We've bumped into a couple of situations with potential white-label partners who have to support Internet Explorer," said Leka. "There are reasons why we can't turn Flash off completely."

Glide's iPad Web app complements some of the iPad's deficiencies, such as the limited options for file management on the device. Glide allows iPad users to watch Flash video or Windows video, which it transcodes into QuickTime video on the fly.

It also allows users to create content or capture it online and share it in the format of Microsoft Word, PDF, RTF or Glide Write HTML documents, or using and Glide's rights-managed discussion groups and e-mail.

Backed by Glide's cloud storage, the iPad becomes an even more useful device.

With Adobe, Apple, Microsoft, and Google going head-to head in a battle to dominate mobile computing, Leka believes Glide is well-positioned to provide much needed cross-platform compatibility.

Leka's concern is that the iPad is too useful. "My biggest fear about the iPad is I carry it with me everywhere and it's so light I leave it places," he said.

About the Author(s)

Thomas Claburn

Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful master's degree in film production. He wrote the original treatment for 3DO's Killing Time, a short story that appeared in On Spec, and the screenplay for an independent film called The Hanged Man, which he would later direct. He's the author of a science fiction novel, Reflecting Fires, and a sadly neglected blog, Lot 49. His iPhone game, Blocfall, is available through the iTunes App Store. His wife is a talented jazz singer; he does not sing, which is for the best.

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