It was revealed previously that Facebook had already developed an iPad app
that was live inside the iPhone app. At the time, the app was feature complete, which has confused many as to why Facebook has taken so long to officially launch it. The company didn’t even launch it at the recent f8 conference. According to MG Siegler of TechCrunch
, the reason the Facebook iPad app hasn’t officially been released is because the company is waiting on Facebook’s Project Spartan and various negotiations with Apple. There has been no confirmation of an agreement but the relationship between the two companies is tenuous at best.
Some screenshots of Project Spartan were revealed by Alexia Tsotsis, a TechCrunch
writer. The screenshots are believed to be the real deal by many in the industry including MG Seigler. Speculation now says that both the Facebook iPad app and Project Spartan, both of which have seen numerous delays and have even delayed each other, will be launching next week at Apple’s “Let’s Talk iPhone” event on October 4th.
Apple has said to be involved in both projects and the two companies have been collaborating with one another on both projects as well. Sources note that the two Facebook projects may launch at next week’s Apple event, potentially as part of a demonstration to show off improved HTML5 support on the iOS platform. If the arrangement falls through though, Facebook is said to reveal the two projects during a Monday (October 3rd) event to get the news out ahead of Apple’s event.
Both of the companies probably already know that working together would probably be a better idea than not but both also seem to believe that they don’t actually need each other. The latter is probably what is causing this back and forth dance that keeps making the news. The two seem to be both friends and enemies, or frenemies if you want to call it that. With the launch of Google+ the common enemy has been made very clear though and it might just give the two companies incentive to finally settle the deal and improve relationships with one another.
The two projects at hand are the Facebook iPad app and Project Spartan as previously mentioned. The Facebook iPad app is pretty self-explanatory as it is just an app for Facebook optimized to work on the iPad. Project Spartan on the other hand is quite innovative on Facebook’s end. Project Spartan is Facebook’s initiative to deploy apps and service for iOS devices without going through the App Store. It uses a blue bar along the top, referred to as “chrome” (Yes, that’s right, Chrome, much like the Google’s web browser), to bind all the different mobile sites together. The “chrome” bar allows Facebook to make an external call to pull in the Facebook “chrome” to make apps appear as proper Facebook apps. It gives developers the capability of targeting the iPhone and iPad browsers with apps connected to Facebook, but hosted on their servers. While native apps and games for iOS devices need Apple’s approval to go past the App Store gates, Facebook could allow existing developers of games and applications to easily port their Flash experiences (which are currently used by millions of users on the desktop) to iOS Safari using web standards falling under the huge HTML5 umbrella. For this reason alone, it seems to be in Apple’s best interest to partner up and eliminate the possibility of having more competition.
Are you excited for the official release of a Facebook iPad app and Project Spartan? Let us know in the comments below!