You’ll recall that Project Spartan is the HTML5-driven mobile application platform that Facebook has been quietly building for months with the help of a group of third-party app developers. While some of those very developers believe Facebook’s intentions here is to break up the control Apple (and Google) have over the mobile app space, Facebook started freaking out when we reported that. The spin began almost immediately. And it has continued, even with the group of third-party developers working on the project — they’re affectionately known as “Spartans”.
We previously reported that after our initial story, Facebook began reaching out to the Spartans, reminding them that the information of the project was confidential (while telling the press this stuff was really “nothing new”). Since then, Facebook has stepped up their game as well. We now hear that there’s been a lot of stern talks with the Spartans, telling them that the project is not about going after Apple. But it’s not really working. “I look at these apps and how content rich they are and how they have nothing to do with Apple and everything to do with Facebook and assume that they think we are retarded,” is how one put it.
One developer says that the quality of the apps on the platform is really surprising — in a good way, naturally. Apparently, there are going to be a ton of games that will be a part of the Spartan launch. This shouldn’t be too surprising, HTML5 gaming has been something Facebook has been pushing. And Zynga is believed to be heavily involved in the project.
So when will Spartan launch? Facebook is pushing to have everyone ready by July 15. One source expects a formal unveiling to be sometime between then and August 1.
While we’ve been hesitant to provide many screenshots of what the project looks like since it could give away sources, we have secured the one below which has been slightly altered. You’ll note that it looks like a modified version of the current Facebook mobile site. Of course, two things you won’t find on the current mobile site are right there staring you in the face: Games and Apps — with notifications too!