As reported last month, Facebook is rumored to be working on “Project Spartan”, a top secret HTML5 based application platform for mobile devices—specifically those of the Apple variety. The social network has elicited help from a number of developers, like Zynga, to build web apps and games for the platform. Apparently, Apple is lending a hand as well, as a way to assist in Flash’s death. Browser-based app stores have cropped up in the past (and are even being developed for jailbreak tweaks), but none with the backing of such influential companies.
Facebook plans to launch Spartan sometime between July 15th and August 1st. Facebook has an “awesome” announcement later today, which may be an iPad app, Skype integration, or perhaps even a preview of the secretive Spartan project. Google+ is now getting all the attention from the press, so Facebook better live up to the hype if they want to steal back the spotlight.
Facebook wants a cut of the Apple’s mobile app market, that’s been clear this entire time. Perhaps it’s not war against Apple — maybe Apple is just going to ‘gift’ Facebook the share of their market (the HTML5 share) in exchange an alliance being formed whereby Apple get’s some exclusive access to Facebook’s 600 million-plus users and thereby cutting out Google (exclusive to some degree, Facebook is too open for it to be fully exclusive). In this theory, it’s not Facebook Spartans vs. Apple, it’s Facebook/Apple Spartans Vs Google.