Facebook’s HTML5 Surprise?

By  |  Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Yesterday, TechCrunch’s MG Siegler wrote about an unreleased Facebook photo app for the iPhone. Today, he’s reporting that Facebook is working on a super-ambitious platform for Mobile Safari on the iPhone and iPad–one that uses HTML5 to deliver the sort of experience usually associated with native iOS apps. He doesn’t have any real details, but it could be cool, and would explain Mark Zuckerberg’s famous disinterest in doing a Facebook app for the iPad.

There are some nifty browser-based mobile apps out there–Google’s Gmail for phones and tablets comes to mind. But there hasn’t been a truly killer app yet of the sort that leaves millions of people thinking that Web apps rather than local apps are the wave of the future. If Facebook is at least trying to pull off something like that, it’s exciting news.


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4 Comments For This Post

  1. Manish Deo Says:


  2. Thomas Says:

    I don't think many people make the distinction between browser based apps and native apps. I'm surprised to find how many people use the fb web app rather than the native app available for their smartphone. If angry birds could run in mobil web browsers they'd still have the millions fans they have now and those users would care less where they were experiencing the game (given the experience was comparable to a native app experience).

  3. David Says:

    We'll see, I guess. The Gmail app running in Chrome is noticeably slower than running in Thunderbird. And Gmail simply doesn't look as nice or work as well as Thunderbird, IMO.

    I work on server side apps and in my experience that has been and continues to remain the Achilles' heel of browser apps. Functions you take for granted like drag and drop and integration with other apps are all interior to native apps.

    You get advantages like deployment for browser apps, but if you want the riches experience with the widest possible tool set and the best performance, native apps still maintain the advantage. I just don't see anything that what will shake that up.

    Let's put it this way. Today, you can buy machines with ram and cpu resources that you could only dream of a decade ago couple with tremendous internet speeds compare to what you could get 10 year ago and web apps are still, in general, slower and less rich than native.

  4. Eric Says:

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