For the first time, Apple and Facebook will debut new platforms at the same event. Facebook will reportedly launch its iPad app at Apple's Oct. 4 media event, where many believe Apple will unveil the iPhone 5. Facebook will also reportedly release an overhauled version of its iPhone app, and may debut an HTML5-based mobile app marketplace. No word yet if Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will present the application or attend the Apple event at all.
Facebook has been rolling out massive changes to its platform over recent weeks. First, Facebook cleaned up its News Feed and introduced the Ticker. Then, at f8, Mark Zuckerberg announced the new Timeline profiles and the new Open Graph functionality. Now, Facebook will give a facelift to its iPhone app, the most downloaded app of all-time, and finally introduce the iPad app.
Talk about timing. Up until recently, Facebook's iPad app had seemingly fallen off the face of the universe, even though photos of it were leaked to TechCrunch in late July. But two days ago, former lead developer for Facebook's iPad application Jeff Verkoeyen wrote on his blog that the iPad has been feature complete since May, but quit Facebook because the company indefinitely delayed its release. Verkoeyen now works for Google's mobile team.
The reason behind the delays, many believe, was due to Facebook's strained relationship with Apple. TechCrunch's MG Siegler believes Facebook's reluctance to create an iPad app was because the company was afraid Apple could use the Facebook app as leverage in future dealings between the two companies.
Facebook does not want to be at the mercy of another company, whether it's Apple or Google, etc. Siegler said.
The two companies have had their share of issues. Last year, Facebook was supposed to be integrated into Apple's Ping social network for iTunes last year, but was pulled at the last minute for unknown reasons. Additionally, the two companies reportedly worked together to bring deep integration of Facebook to iOS 5 (like it eventually did with Twitter), but that too was killed.
Now, it seems like the two companies are warming up to each other. After all, the two companies share many of the same goals, like beating Google, and bringing social and mobile platforms closer together. It looks like the two sides will make amends for now at Apple's Oct. 4 media event.
In a surprising move, Apple is apparently working with Facebook to perfect its HTML5 platform, which has gone by the code name Project Spartan. The secret project was originally intended for iOS so, and was designed to be a platform for hosting developers' Facebook applications. However, Project Spartan was originally believed to be a point of contention between Apple and Facebook since Facebook's Credits system would have allowed the company to circumvent Apple's terms for in-app purchases. Apple was not in favor of this, but the two companies must have worked out an agreement.
It's widely believed that the new iPhone 5s will come preloaded with Apple's new mobile operating system, iOS 5.