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Condé Nast plans for iPad, but is caught in Apple-Adobe Flash fight


Magazine publisher Condé Nast revealed this week it will create iPad versions of Wired, GQ, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, but not all of the publications will receive full interactivity due to the ongoing dispute between Apple and Adobe over Flash.

The New York Times revealed this week an internal memo from Condé Nast announced the company will have the April edition of GQ available for the iPad. That will soon be followed by June issues of Vanity Fair and Wired, while The New Yorker and Glamour will follow in the summer. The publisher will reportedly test a number of different prices, types of advertising, and approaches to reproducing content for the iPad as it experiments with the new format.

According to Peter Kafka of MediaMemo, the different approaches will mean that iPad versions of most Condé Nast magazines will be similar to their existing iPhone versions. While the publisher did show off a highly interactive version of Wired that it intends to release for the iPad, other publications allegedly will not receive the same treatment.

"Conde is still creating a digital version of its tech magazine for the device," Kafka wrote. "But the influential publisher says it won’t create similar iPad apps for other titles unless Apple and Adobe figure out how to work together."

Condé Nast Chief Executive Chuck Townsend said that the interactive version of Wired was originally created with Adobe's help and uses the Adobe Flash platform. Apple's iPad does not support Flash, which will lead the publisher to have "two parallel development tracks," MediaMemo reported.

When asked if his company would embrace the Adobe format if the iPad were compatible with Flash content, Townsend also reportedly said it would be "an easy yes."

"The GQ app for the iPhone is pretty good, by the way, and I’m assuming it will work well on the iPad, too," Kafka wrote. "But it's a pretty straightforward transfer of the print version into digital form, and doesn’t feature the bells and whistles that Wired and Adobe dreamed up."

Adobe has announced plans to circumvent the inability of both the iPad and iPhone to run Flash content, with a native app porting feature built into its forthcoming Creative Suite 5. While Adobe has pushed for years to have Flash on the iPhone since it launched, Apple has not budged. The company's rejection of Flash and move towards alternatives such as HTML5 suggest the Web plugin will not likely appear on the iPad.

As he has promoted the forthcoming iPad, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has been attributed as saying Adobe Flash is a "CPU hog," and calling the prevalent Web format "old technology." Another report alleged that Jobs called Adobe "lazy," and said most Mac crashes are due to Flash.

For more on why Apple isn't likely to support Flash in the iPhone OS, read AppleInsider's three-part Flash Wars series.