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In 2007, the world was a different place. The App Store didn’t exist yet, and the iPhone had just been announced. Steve Jobs wanted consumers to fill their iPhones with web apps. Before they debuted the App Store, Apple tried to prove that web apps could be as easy to use and as responsive as native apps. Although web apps didn’t succeed the way Jobs originally intended them to, that doesn’t mean they’re not worth exploring.

In the last two articles on digital publishing and the iPad, we took in-depth looks at a lot of apps that offer magazine services on iOS, including Zinio, apps on Apple’s Newsstand, and Flipboard. They’re just the beginning of the digital publishing movement. Magazine publishers all over the world are also investing in HTML-based web apps that come with a lot of benefits for both them and readers. But there are two big questions everybody always asks about web apps, even my own mother when I explained this article to her: “What is it; why bother?” and “Are they better than the apps I’ve already got installed on my iPad?” Read on to get my take on it.

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If you’re a Mac OS X user and involved in the web design/development scene, you’ve probably heard of the indie developers Panic and, more specifically, their product Coda. Coda is an all-in-one web development enviroment that pulls together multiple tools such as visual CSS generation, file transfer and reference together with a text editor supporting a range of languages. Last month, Panic released Coda 2, a signifcantly updated version of the software.

Alongside the release of Coda 2, Panic also released Diet Coda, an accompanying $19.99 app for iPad that’s already disrupting the long-term stereotype of an iPad being useless for productivity. Diet Coda combines a text editor with a powerful FTP-based file manager making editing your files stored online a pleasant and productive experience. Let’s take a look…

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