Audrey Watters at ReadWriteWeb writes that Apple’s new rules are encouraging eReader app makers to create HTML5 web applications rather than pay Apple 30% royalties on in-app purchases made on iOS devices, i.e. iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches.

HTML5 LogoI’d been watching this situation with a great deal of interest because it has affected the development of our own Learncrest iPhone app. Originally, the app was designed to follow the Amazon Kindle app model wherein if a reader clicked a purchase link in the app, it would start up mobile Safari and go to a web page to complete the purchase outside of the app. Unfortunately, Apple changed the rules to disallow this, forcing a rewrite of the app. Amazon, Kobo, Google, and other eReader app developers have been forced to remove buy buttons and any mention of their book purchasing web sites from their iOS apps.

Because the Learncrest app is being developed using PhoneGap, much of it is coded in HTML5, CSS, and Javascript. Rather than waste the affected bits, I decided to create a web version of the app suitable for iOS and Android mobile devices. This is still under development, but if you want to take a look, click here. Of course this looks best when viewed on a mobile device like the iPhone or any number of Android based smartphones.

Obviously, a web app is not the answer for every need right now, but as network connectivity becomes increasingly pervasive, soon the end user may not be able to tell the difference. If it is Apple’s grand strategy to encourage and promote HTML5 in this way, then kudos to them! If not, then WTF are they thinking?