It's almost impossible to believe but more than a year after the iPad's debut Facebook still hasn't released a native app for the blockbuster Apple tablet. The official Facebook app for iOS (iTunes, free) was available when the App Store opened in July 2008 and has over 78 million monthly active users.
FB claims over more than 250 million users actively access the service from a mobile device.
The problem is that the official Facebook iOS app is only formatted for the small screen. What's an iPad-toting FB junkie to do?
Oecoway Inc. has been able to fill the gap up until this point with its iPad-native Friendly Plus for iPad (iTunes, $0.99) but it's a dud. I barely use Facebook and can't stand it, and my hardcore FB friends call it everything from terrible to barely unusable. A shame really.
Apparently the sleeping giant has awoken.
New York Times' Nick Bilton writes that Facebook is indeed developing an iPad-native app and has been working on it for almost a year. (I'm betting that they've been working on it since the day that the iPad came out.)
People who have seen the application said it has a slick design that has been tailored for the iPad and its touchscreen interface. Facebook developers and designers have also overhauled the Facebook Chat and Facebook Groups features for the application. And the app will go beyond the features available on the Facebook Web site by allowing users to shoot and upload photos and videos directly from the iPad’s built-in cameras.
“The photo and video experience is amazing, offering full resolution and full-screen images,” said a person who has seen the app.
According to Bilton, the Facebook iPad app is now in the final stages of testing and should be released "in the coming weeks."
It's about time.
I'm sure that the folks at Oecoway Inc. aren't thrilled about Facebook competing for Friendly's 2.6M active monthly users, but then again people want the best experience possible. If Facebook's going to be the one to deliver the best user experience, then that's where the users will go.
Do you give a rat's arse about Facebook on iPad?