A new HTML5-based platform and TechCrunch Disrupt finalist Pressly, will now turn online publications into tablet-friendly websites that work on the iPad, Android tablets or the BlackBerry PlayBook.
Pressly’s platform includes five customizable templates as a starting point, each designed with the needs of different publishers in mind.
One template is more text-driven, while others are better for browsing through photos or videos. Like native apps, navigating a Pressly-built site uses intuitive gestures, like a 2-finger swipe up or down to reveal quick navigation and a pinch to close articles.
The templating engine can pull in a variety of data feeds, too, like JSON, XML, RSS or Twitter and WordPress content.
Despite the end product’s similarities to today’s popular tablet magazines, Pressly isn’t designed to be an alternative to building a native app for the iPad or another tablet. In fact, the company isn’t even a big proponent of saving URLs as homescreen icons. Instead, Pressly wants to leverage the popularity of tablets’ most popular application, the browser, to immediately deliver tablet-optimized experiences to those surfing the Web, reported TechCrunch.
Publishers can also integrate all the common functions found in a traditional website, including analytics, advertising, payment processing, store finders and more.
And Pressly includes its own ad platform which lets publishers and advertisers insert rich media ads into the tablet-friendly site. These ads can include videos, photos, links, hot spots, social sharing buttons, detailed tracking mechanisms and they can even be displayed as 360-degree immersive views. If you’re on a tablet computer, you can see a demo of Pressly in action here.
Pressly is currently working with Canadian Living Magazine, Transcontinental Media Group and The Toronto Star (Canada’s largest daily) as well as with the The Economist’s digital team in New York on a new, yet-to-be-announced product prototype.
The company’s founders include CEO Jeff Brenner, CTO Peter Kieltyka, Marketing and Media Lead Tobin Dalrymple and Business Development Lead Chi Chen. Brenner and Kieltyka previously founded a consulting business called NuLayer, which built over 17 successful Web and iOS projects including the popular sports app for theScore.