Jun 30, 2011

Facebook Plans to Circumvent Apple’s App Store with HTML5

Facebook has teamed up with developers to start a tightlipped initiative called “Project Spartan,” an HTML5-based application platform to work around the Apple App Store, according to reports.
Social networking leader Facebook has gathered nearly 80 developers in an effort to preserve control of Web apps by circumventing the iOS app store’s terms of submission.
Sources said that Facebook intends to stop Apple’s dominance in mobile app distribution through its own devices.
In 2008, Apple switched from the original web apps concept for Safari on its mobile devices to the current App Store model.
Claiming to have seen “Project Spartan,” TechCrunch’s Siegler thinks of the project as Facebook’s mobile web version, with dropdown menus for new apps.
After loading, a “Facebook wrapper” integrates the social network to those apps, including micropayment system Credits, which has a key function in the development of the platform, providing an alternative to App Store monetization.
Facebook attempts to persuade game developer Zynga to jump in on the platform to speed up the company’s transition from Adobe Flash to HTML5.
Zynga could benefit much from the project by reducing its dependence on the Adobe Flash platform for gaming.
When the App Store started, Facebook released an app for the iPhone and iPod Touch but has not released one for the iPad.
Facebook and Apple already went through partnerships, but Apple CEO Steve Jobs last year said that he could not close a deal to add its Ping social network into Facebook, which collapsed an 18-month long negotiation between the companies.
Jobs reportedly invited Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for dinner to settle the matter last October.
Experts see the recent Apple and Twitter partnership as a move to ignore Facebook and offer Twitter integration into iOS 5.
Last April, a supposed leaked “test version” of iOS 4 was seen with a system-level Facebook integration, building up rumors that Apple first chose Facebook over Twitter.


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