Project Spartan, an HTML5-based version of Facebook, continues to move forward, according to a leak from TechCrunch. Screenshots of the web app and some inside information from the developers working on the project reveal a content-rich platform for mobile devices. The new UI modifies the current mobile Facebook site and adds in support for Games and Apps, which one developer says is working surprisingly well. The HMTL5 platform is expected to be completed by July 15th and introduced sometime between then and August 1st.
An earlier rumor suggested Spartan was Facebook's way of moving its App (and Facebook apps like Farmville) out from under the control of Apple. Facebook, though, is reportedly telling developers that it's not targeting Apple and its App Store with this plan. Project Spartan is reportedly part of Facebook's larger overall mobile strategy to easily expand its influence to other mobile platforms. Despite these assurances, developers claim the underlying code is geared towards mobile Safari for the iPhone and iPad.
Apple App Store rival or a new mobile strategy? We'll have to wait and see what happens when Facebook takes the wraps off this project in the near future.