Web journey complete, FT switching off iOS app

The Financial Times is preparing to kill off its iPad and iPhone app for good, signalling its final conversion from executable-app to web-app publishing.

The news publisher launched a HTML5 web app and pulled its iOS app off iTunes Store in mid-2011 but left the iOS version usable by subscribers with it already installed.

Now, however, the FT will render the iOS app unusable by its remaining users over the next month, as it completes its HTML5 migration.

It is taking the step because only a relative handful of users remain and because it can no longer continue to maintain features inside the app.

The publisher recently acquired Assanka, the development house which coded its HTML5 web app, and this week announced it had been rebranded “FT Labs”.

The outfit will “bring the FT further into the web development community”, according to founder Andrew Betts (release), and is staging an FT hack day on May 23 and 24.

The web app userbase  overtook that of the iOS app within three months of launch.

Mobile now contributes 12 percent of new FT subscriptions and 19 percent of FT.com web traffic, according to the publisher.

Discuss digital publishing strategy with FT.com Managing Director Rob Grimshaw at paidContent 2012: At The Crossroads in New York on May 23, 2012.