First Look: FT’s iPad App Is Just Around The Corner

We got a sneak peak at the Financial Times’ forthcoming iPad app during a digital briefing by parent Pearson (NYSE: PSO). It looks, well, a lot like you’d expect…

I spent 10 minutes playing with the app, some content for which managing editor director Rob Grimshaw said was running on visualisation developer Wall Street On-Demand‘s server in Denver.

As reported earlier, the app, unlike, will be free for two months, under a sponsorship from watch-maker Hublot, before switching to FT’s usual premium, cross-platform access model.

“It was a good way to make a lot of money in a short space of time,” Grimshaw said. “There’s no way we’d put something free in perpetuity. It should be out in the market probably the first couple of weeks in May, then we’ll add some features for the UK and European launch.”

This timescale puts FT behind WSJ’s app – but that won’t bother the FT, and it will be available in its home European market from iPad’s launch date there anyway.

First take…
— Just like’s latest incarnation, it looks, well, a lot like the newspaper.
— Articles swipe on to the screen undramatically but effectively.
— Data charts come in to their own on the device – if the City still had trading floors, traders should be carrying these things.
— Stock charts can be interacted with to change timescales etc – but they pop over articles, rather than go full-screen.
— Hublot’s ad is a basic display MPU, expanding to full-screen when touched but (at least, on the pre-release version) failing to link out anywhere when clicked again. At one point, the ad did an interruptive overlay takeover upon opening the app, but not every time.