Facebook's announcement of an Apple iPad 2 app launch stirred excitement among both sides along with signaling an end to some disagreements the two companies experienced in the past. That was the case until rumors of a secret Facebook project codenamed Spartan emerged with details on how the social network giant will utilize HTML 5 web platform standards onto mobile apps currently stationed on Apple's app store and Safari browsers.
The social media giant treads on a delicate balance in working cooperatively with companies such as Apple to expand reach through Apple's devices and app store while developing a future platform of their own.
A Facebook spokesman explained that both Facebook and Apple are experiencing a very cooperative relationship. Past projects such as the Facebook app for iPhone involved both sides to come together and co-work.
According to Facebook, Project Spartan has nothing much going at the moment and speculations of it being anti-Apple is false. In contrast to Facebook's announcement, rumors have mentioned that Apple has lent support to Project Spartan. Writer MG Siegler's Techcrunch article commented on Apple's knowledge of the project.
Apple knows about Project Spartan, and is believed to even be lending some minor support to the project, wrote Siegler.
Techcruch reports that Project Spartan involves outside developers from other companies such as Huffington Post and Zynga who has joined the HTML 5 development in targeting Apple's iOS.
Facebook's CTO Bret Taylor emphasized on the importance of preserving the company's engineering resources by utilizing the HTML 5 development. It's a common problem for Facebook to update multiple version of their sites due to the current platform.
It's an incredible challenge, and there's feature skew between all those different versions of Facebook... you end up picking and choosing platforms, when really your goal is to reach every single person you can reach on whatever device they're using...Over the long term, people in Silicon Valley really view HTML5 as the future platform we will all be building to, and that's where we're putting a huge amount of our investment in the next year, said Taylor.
To some this may appear to be Facebook's revolutionary turn of events in establishing web based platforms for all mobile devices across the board. To others, it may be considered laughable.
Siegler continues commenting on Apple's reason for contributing to the project.
Why do that for a project that ultimately hopes to usurp the native App Store and Apple payment model? Because Apple is not afraid of it at all, we've heard. And based on some of the HTML5-based Spartan apps I've seen, I have to agree. The likelihood users would choose these over a native iPhone app right now, is laughable... Apple may not view Spartan as a threat at all right now - and in fact, it sort of helps them because it is moving popular games, like the ones by Zynga, off of Flash and onto HTML5 - but down the road, that is absolutely what Facebook intends it to be. writes Siegler.
The future of Facebook may depend on Project Spartan's success if it looks to create more opportunities for themselves away from Apple's strictly enforced structure. According to rumors, the two companies are maintaining stable relations but the revolution of Project Spartan could determine how friendly Facebook and Apples' future can really be.