updated 08:45 pm EDT, Fri June 17, 2011
Apple knows of Facebook HTML5 app plan
Apple is not only aware of Facebook's Project Spartan but may even be helping it out, fresh leaks uncovered on Friday. The iPhone maker is thought to be lending "minor support" to the HTML5 app project because it doesn't see the initiative as a threat to the App Store. This might be due to the quality of the apps themselves as the quality is "laughable" next to a native app, according to TechCrunch.
Apple may also see undermining Adobe's advocacy of Flash as more important than whatever success Facebook might have.
Whether or not Apple knows about the use of Facebook Credits and the social network's supposed intentions of challenging the App Store isn't clear. However, the company has supposedly been taking steps to try and control the spin of Project Spartan by portraying itself as friendly to both HTML5 and native code.
The caution may be due to Facebook's rocky relationship with Apple. Insiders alleged that Facebook has antagonized Apple before and has been facing the consequences. Apple supposedly treated Facebook like an "abusive spouse" for its past attitude and has left Facebook eager to avoid any sense of direct confrontation. Its months of work on the native Facebook iPad app could potentially have been leverage on getting Project Spartan done, although this wasn't confirmed.
The two companies have had a touch and go relationship, having seen Ping lose support at the last minute over a fight even as Apple integraces Facebook uploading into iLife and elsewhere. Apple's decision to have deep Twitter integration in iOS 5 may have been a slap at Facebook by showing that Apple had more trust in the micro-messaging service.