Facebook's Twist to the Changing App Ecosystem

Posted by Dan Verhaeghe

I recently wrote about the changing ecosystem of native mobile apps to hybrid and eventually to HTML5 as the first major web standard upgrade in over a decade finally comes to fruition. 

There's also a constant fight between mobile apps and web apps: the belief that only one will persist over the other, while it's more likely that both will stay and continue to serve a different purpose in the coming years. 

We've known that up until know Facebook hasn't been very good at mobile—the hundreds of millions of people that use Facebook apps haven't been able to use them seamlessly on their smartphones.

Facebook's Project Spartan, a team of 80 engineers, attempts to change that by bypassing app stores and using a Facebook "web browser" so that users can easily navigate their Facebook apps through a unique Facebook web browser, according to mocoNews.net's Tom Krazit.

Meanwhile, the National Bank expects that Research In Motion will further lose market share in the smartphone market and that there will be many operational delays to their BB7 and QNX platforms to be released in 2012 in order to catch up with Apple and Google Android. 

The TSX has responded as RIM's shares are down nearly 20% Friday. 

While RIM always maintained in recent months that web apps were the future, and not mobile apps, I wonder if Facebook's Project Spartan releases and works adequately before RIM releases their new operating systems expected to put them on the same level functionality wise as Apple and Google Android at least from a competitive standpoint, if it would only further spell RIM's demise in a smartphone race they have clearly lost in 2011. 

Not only do native app builders have to soak up Facebook's latest potential innovation, but there is the prospect of hybrid app builders that make it easier to build cross-platform apps rather than building the app individually. iBuildApp promises that anyone can build an Android or iPhone app without any knowledge of Java, and is a free solution. 

However, CNET's Stephen Shankland, who recieved the press release Monday as I did, doesn't give iBuildApp the greatest of reviews. 

While it's not entirely clear how hybrid apps and web apps will unfold, there's no question that the biggest impact functionality wise will be felt when every app turns HTML5 as Google's CEO Eric Schmidt predicted back in February that almost all apps will be built with the HTML5 standard.

However, the real question of the day is: Can RIM rebound from Waterloo seemingly going up in flames just as Vancouver rioted Wednesday night? 

Only time will tell, as it seems like the ship will sink some more before it sails freely once more. 

Company:
BlackBerry
Website:
http://www.blackberry.com
Location:
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Research In Motion (RIM), a global leader in wireless innovation, revolutionized the mobile industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry® solution in 1999. BlackBerry products and services are used by millions of customers around the world to stay connected to the people and content that matter most throughout their day. The BlackBerry product line includes the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet, the award-winning... more

Company:
Facebook
Website:
http://www.facebook.com
Location:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Millions of people use Facebook everyday to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet. more


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Dan Verhaeghe

Dan Verhaeghe

Dan Verhaeghe focuses on marketing, mobile, major technology players, entertainment, and new media. Dan has a dozen years of online experience that dates back to the turn of the millennium where he dominated a now non-existent online RPG game for a couple of years at the age of 15. He would eventually become a Toronto Blue Jays blogger who earned his way into Toronto's CP24 studios six years... more



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