Apple undercuts Facebook in the augmented reality platform war

Facebook may be the world’s most powerful app, but it’s still just an app on Apple’s operating system.

Facebook’s grand vision for augmented reality was that it would make it easy for any developer to build and distribute an AR experience — as long as it lived inside Facebook’s app. But Apple has once again used its control of the mobile operating system to build a wider platform than Facebook can, this time with AR that lives inside developers’ own apps.

This already played out with mobile apps.

On the open web of desktops, Facebook built a massively powerful game platform that spawned huge businesses like Zynga. On mobile, it couldn’t do the same. Apple forbid developers from building app stores inside their apps. Facebook tried to build its…

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