October 11, 2011
After months of anticipation that even resulted in a lead developer leaving Facebook for Google, Facebook launched the official Facebook iPad application. The app is basically an big upgrade to the current Facebook iPhone app, so if you have that app you just need to get the latest update, which makes everything render differently on the iPad.
Aside from it being about time Facebook has an iPad application, I think the app offers a great way to explore Facebook. It’s a lot nicer to use the iPad app than the crammed form factor of the iPhone app. I appreciate how fully functional the application is. It also offers an endless scroll of the news feed. Seriously, I just kept scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. Try it and you will see what I mean – it’s endless! The only issue with the endless scroll is that there is no simple one-click return the top (that I could find), which, if you scroll a lot, can be annoying. I also like the full-screen photo experience and quick and easy-to-use chat and message interfaces.
One of the reasons the app may have been delayed is because so many of Facebook’s games rely on Flash, which does not work on the iPad – or any iOS device for that matter. According to a report on AllThingsD, Facebook worked with a number of the more profitable games to create HTML5 versions of the apps or direct the Facebook apps to their associated iOS apps.
I currently use Flipboard, FLUD and other social apps to sort through my news feed in a visual manner, so it’s interesting that Facebook did not do something slightly more visual with their app. It looks very much in line with Facebook on the web. I really never got in the habit of using the Facebook iPhone app on my iPad, so I’ll have to give it a little more time to determine if I find myself frequently using the new iPad version or not. There is no question Facebook should have an iPad in the marketplace and this is a welcome addition.
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