Apple has acquired Particle, a firm specializing in the design of HTML5 websites and web apps. Particle has previously done some HTML5 work for Apple, along with others such as Google, Amazon, and Motorola and they are also behind video sharing service Robo.to. The deal for the acquisition happened last month, and is mostly a talent, rather than product, acquisition. It is unknown what the team will be working on, though Josh Lowensohn at CNET speculates that it has to do with Apple's heavy HTML5 focus for its web content:
As for the purpose of the buy, Apple has put a big focus on HTML5 on its product pages, iAd advertising, and on iCloud.com, which serves as one of the only places Apple has true Web applications.
Particle is a company that has focused predominantly on user experience in the past, and that background can be put to use almost anywhere in Apple’s ecosystem. Reworking the iCloud web apps, making them faster and more responsively, is certainly an option. It is also possible that Particle’s experience with iTunes Extras means that they will work on media content. The sky -- or more appropriately, the cloud -- is the limit.
While most of Apple’s focus has been on native applications, web content is very important to Apple’s interaction with users. Even the iTunes, iBooks, and App Store apps on iOS devices are HTML5 web apps with some native trimming. Given how quickly content needs to change in either store, for the time being, this is neccessary. It’s quite possible that the team brought in from Particle will be used to impove the overall store experience, doing their best to make it more responsive, or perhaps even improving search.
What would you like to see the Particle team work on? What areas of their web experience does Apple need to imporve the most? Give us your thoughts below in the comment.