Financial Times Windows 8 app

The new Financial Times Windows 8 app

The Financial Times has launched a preview version its Windows 8 app today, announced earlier this week.

The app is available on any mobile or desktop device running the new Microsoft Windows 8 release preview, which went live last night.

Tablets running the Windows 8 operating system are expected to go on sale in the autumn.

Speaking to Journalism.co.uk earlier this week, Rob Grimshaw, managing director of FT.com said the launch of Windows 8 tablets could be a game changer in the tablet market.

"We think it will end up being a much more diverse market place and there is room for at least a couple more big players, and given the effort that Microsoft is putting into Windows 8 it's entirely possible that Microsoft will be one of those players."

The FT Windows 8 app, which can be downloaded from the Windows Store, is the "next phase in the FT’s mobile development", the title said today in a release.

The FT currently has tablet apps for Windows, Apple and Android, built using a hybrid of HTML5 and native technology.

"The same core code base is used to power FT apps for mobile phones, tablets, and desktop and in this case has been combined with the best elements from Windows, optimising the app for devices running Windows 8," the release states.

Key features of the new Windows 8 app include: comprehensive access to FT content, automatic updates and offline access. It also allows users to find FT articles using the main Windows 8 search and has "live tile", with the latest FT headlines on the desktop.

The app also has navigation allowing FT app the run in part of the screen alongside other programmes, such as email. This means "you can keep track of the news as you work", the FT states.

Speaking to Journalism.co.uk for a podcast on why publishers are excited about Windows 8, Daniel Sharp, co-founder of Stonewash, mobile developers that have been working with Microsoft and have launched four apps for publishers as part of last night's release, said Windows 8 offers a number of features he believes will be popular, such as the concept of "full screen snap and fill".

"You can run an application full screen and if you then get an email you can push that application to the side and it fills a single column down either the left or the right hand side. That means you can get on with doing something entirely different in the main, leftover screen."

Earlier this week Rob Grimshaw, managing director of the FT.com said mobile is increasingly important for the FT, with half of digital access being from mobile devices within three years.

In the last six months, readers accessing FT content via smartphone has risen 52 per cent, with tablet reading up 49 per cent.

Users will have free access to FT content via the Windows 8 app for a limited period once they have registered, according to the release. Once this ends the app will be integrated into the FT.com access model where after registering, users are able to sample the content before subscribing.

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