Publishers Straddle the Apple-Google, App-Web Divide

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Apple wants mobile devices to be filled with apps. Google supports a world where people browse the web for most things. Now websites are increasingly caught in the middle of those competing visions.

 

Consider The Atavist Magazine, an online publication run by Evan Ratliff. To attract the broadest audience possible, Mr. Ratliff said he felt pressure to do everything twice: once for the web and once for the magazine’s app. But maintaining a website and getting readers for it while also building an audience of iPhone users with an app took time — too much time, Mr. Ratliff said. So last month, The Atavist shut down its app and decided to publish only on the web.

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