After months of speculation, opinion, leaks and other events, Facebook have today launched what people have expected: a mobile app platform as well as Facebook for iPad. Before this, Facebook users had to use their computers for gaming and app needs (or obsessions) where now, they should be able to play and participate from almost any device with a web browser. This experience amplifies if you're on an Apple iOS-based device.
It was rumored that Facebook were totally against Apple, with iOS 5 having Twitter integration but this news is joy to the ears of Facebook and Apple users. The reason is simple. Facebook apps and more importantly, games, don't work on phones or tablets because iOS devices don't support Flash. Facebook has now helped a select group of developers, Audiovroom, Branchout, EA, Flixster, Gilt Groupe, Huffington Post, Moblyng, Storm8, Wooga and Zynga, all create HTML5-based versions of a selection of their apps and game titles that will work within Web browsers.
HTML5 doesn't quite offer the performance that many apps require, so if the developers have created native versions of their app, they can also connect Facebook users directly to that native application. For example, a friend sends you a request to play Words With Friends and you view it on the Facebook app on your iPhone, you can click to play and be taken directly to the Words With Friends app. If you don't have the app, that's fine, as you'll get directed to Apple's App Store. If you're on an Android device, you'll be taken to an HTML5 version in your mobile Web browser.
iOS gets the special sauce from Facebook right now, iOS users are the only ones that get the combined native and Web app experience. On all other phones, Web browsers and Android devices, users will be only able to access the default Web experience. Facebook CTO, Bret Taylor has said that Facebook are currently knuckling down and working on an update to its native Android application.
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