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Facebook's Project Spartan for iOS to hit before August 1

updated 12:00 am EDT, Wed July 6, 2011

Facebook Project Spartan gets spied before release

Facebook's Project Spartan web app platform for iOS has been spied in greater detail Tuesday night and given a tentative release date. The HTML5-based system is now known to have a "chrome" navigation page but to actually rely on outside hosting for the apps themselves. Games and other titles have to call on the central chrome not just to give users an easy way to stay in Facebook, TechCrunch says, but to get the social network's wrapper for alerts, automatically login, and carry in other common elements.

A developer tutorial page from engineer Matt Kelly, which Electronista can verify is accurate, is already in place at least temporarily to help developers.

Although quality wasn't initially supposed to be good, an anonymous developer has said that the apps are pleasantly "surprising" in quality. Zynga is likely to provide a major game like FarmVille or Mafia Wars. A new Javascript beta page has also given clues to a new range of Android and iOS calls, including adaptations to the web page rotation and mobile web calls specific to Facebook.

Facebook is reportedly hoping to have everything finished by July 15 with a launch between then and August 1.

Project Spartan was at one point thought to be competition with native iOS apps and to some extent might take revenue by using Facebook's Credits ecosystem instead of Apple's. With the iPhone creator's knowing support, however, it may instead be thought of just as a way of bringing the full Facebook ecosystem to smartphones and tablets. Apple may instead see the project as a way of boosting HTML5 and reducing the dependence on Adobe Flash.

Facebook has a number of projects in development that could help mobile, including a video chat tie-in with Skype that should be unveiled at an event tomorrow as well as a native iPad app that might show at a rumored F8 show in August.

by MacNN Staff



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