Glide Offers HTML5 iPad Web App

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

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Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer, Dark Reading
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