Dave Winer touches on one of my pet peeves: websites that launch ads for their app when you visit them with an iPhone or some other mobile device.
Tablets are almost ideal reading environments. I don’t think, as some developers do, that the iPad is the ultimate. I think it’s heavy and cold, and makes my arm fall asleep when I read lying down. I think the software is a glitchy. Like great movies, great computer experiences are all about suspension of disbelief. If I forget I’m reading on an iPad and get consumed by the story, then the technology is working perfectly. The iPad experience is good, but there’s still a way to go. And all this business about apps is a real spoiler for suspension of disbelief. I’m clicking a link, expecting to learn more about what I was reading (that was certainly the author’s intent) but instead I get an ad for an app. If I seriously consider it, I’ve lost my train of thought. If I actually take the detour and install it, I’ve lost big time. The best way to minimize the loss is hit the Back button and skip it. But that’s a loss too. I clicked the link for a reason. And that was thwarted.
A better solution would be to design websites in such a way that they adapt and optimize themselves for iPhones, iPads, and other mobile devices. The Boston Globe’s recent redesign is a perfect example of this approach.