How the iPad is reshaping the Web

iPad continues to create ripples through the mobile, eReader, and online applications worlds. Here are five ways the device is transforming the Web as we know it:

1) Where has all my flash gone?  Or Hello, HTML 5
This is playing out in the press with a great flourish as everyone scrambles to understand apple’s strategy and relationship with Adobe.   85% of the top websites use flash (according to Adobe Labs) so Flash isn’t going to go away but HTML 5 will be a new way to navigate the web and consume applications,  without relying on Java or other plugins.  The very nature of how pages are built and how you navigate the web will be an application metaphor.  And playing off the current popularity of location based services, with HTML5, the browser on any device can detect the user’s geographical location if approved by that user.  This makes it possible for web pages to explore location aware experiences.   And video consumption will also really benefit because you won’t be relying on proprietary plug-ins that are CPU intensive.  And as of this week, Revision 3, a popular broadband TV site, announced it now supports video playback on the Apple iPad, thanks to its foray into HTML5.  You’ll see other major video consumption sites follow suite as the game changes again for video on and offline.  (HTML 5 will also be a player in the set top box world)

2) Changing the Search Metaphor
Navigating the iPad to discover new applications is a bit clumsy, with the app store providing category search featuring specific players and the standard aggregations around “users who bought this.”  But it’s the deeper strategy of how to play within the apps themselves, how to drive users to “unlock” other features with micropayments and become devotees to certain app makers and brands that will drive download and usage.  Right now, if you search on Google for a particular app, it will serve up a link that will potentially launch your iTunes store.  But if my iPad becomes my main device, will I even bother to google it up or stick with the store as my main app discovery?  Note that this piece is devoted to the iPad…Android will own and conquer its own path through its search legacy.

3) It’s the screen size silly
I’m speechless here. It’s just a game changer.

4) Touch Me In The Morning
One of the more interesting effects of the iPhone was that it drove new format solutions with sites formatting their content in at least of two ways: iPhone-optimized sites, with more touch friendly elements that look app-like, and actual iPhone apps.  The iPad plays off on this even more with a host of sites and experiences being built to take advantage of the first three items on this list.  Robust rich graphical experience that have no separation between user and screen.  Content will change and evolve. How we cognitively experience this device will be different than anything before.

5) Consumption
Finally, at its core and with the first iteration, the iPad is primarily designed for content consumption, not for word processing and deeper computing tasks (although as a new version of the OS launches this summer, the ability to multi-task and organize your apps will drive more active use on the computing side). For first time publishers are not basing their “E-based” content with  print as the final output.  In fact, one of the most exciting debuts on the iPad is the Marvel comics store and a host of other graphical novel applications.   Look for “Dust to Dust” a prequel to Philip K Dick’s famous Blade Runner novel,  Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep.   That app will feature some location based services to add in the purchase of a physical copy.