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Apple highlights iPad-ready, Adobe Flash-free Web sites

A number of major Web sites have prepared their content for Saturday's launch of the iPad — in part by embracing HTML5 video — and Apple has highlighted a number of them.

Apple on its Web site has profiled a number of Web sites that rely on Web standards without Adobe Flash, making them ideal for viewing iPad content. Entitled "iPad ready," the page lists sites and includes a submission form to allow new sites to be added to the "growing list" of standard-compliant pages.

"iPad features Safari, a mobile web browser that supports the latest web standards — including HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript," the site reads. "Here are just a few of the sites that take advantage of these web standards to deliver content that looks and functions beautifully on iPad."

A great deal of the focus in the list of a dozen Web pages is the inclusion of HTML5 video, an in-progress standard that Apple has backed as the company has shunned Flash by not allowing it on iPhone OS devices, including the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

Sites on the list include CNN, Reuters, The New York Times, Major League Baseball, Vimeo, The White House, Virgin America, Flickr, and Sports Illustrated.

The exclusion of Adobe Flash from the iPad and subsequent comments attributed to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, in which he allegedly called the Web standard a "CPU hog," have led to a considerable amount of debate over its merits and shortcomings. Although Jobs reportedly said he believes it is "trivial" for Web developers to switch from Flash, some employees of leading publishers recently said they believe such a move wouldn't be so simple.

Last month, it was revealed that National Public Radio and The Wall Street Journal were creating specific versions of their Web sites completely devoid of Flash for iPad users. Virgin America, too, dropped Flash content from its Web site in order to allow users of iPhones to check in for flights.

And this week it was revealed that Brightcove has contracted with Time and The New York Times to allow HTML5 to seamlessly replace Flash video content on the publications' Web sites. The new platform provides support for intelligent device detection, playlist rendering, and playback of H.264 encoded content.

Last week it was revealed that U.S. broadcast TV network CBS is testing HTML5 for video playback on the iPad. Both it and ABC plan to offer streaming shows on the iPad when the device launches Saturday.

For more on Apple and Flash, and why the Web format will likely never be available on the iPhone OS, read AppleInsider's three-part Flash Wars series.