Facebook reportedly planning new HTML5 platform

is organizing its efforts to branch out to the iPhone and iPad, but doesn’t want Apple in its way.

The social networking giant is working on a sweeping new platform designed for devices that use – in other words, mobile devices made by Apple.

The website Tech Crunch is citing people “familiar with the project” as calling the new initiative almost like its own operating system.

It’s such a big undertaking that Facebook even created a cool name for it – Project Spartan.

That is to say, once users log into the HTML5-optimized version of Facebook, they’ll be able to run apps, chat, and do pretty much all the social networking activities they regularly need to, without ever opening an actual iPhone app.

The reason, say Tech Crunch’s sources, is to take Apple out of the equation and to “break the stranglehold they have on mobile app distribution.”

HTML5 does exist on other devices, and is slowly emerging to become a mobile standard in online content, but for now it is tied very closely to the iOS operating system and its built-in Safari browser.

Other mobile browsers are actually able to run full Flash content, the standard that has been supported by computers and other devices for much longer.

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