Rumor has it Facebook will finally launch its iPad app at Apple's iPhone 5 launch event on October 4. Facebook will also reportedly release a revamped version of its iPhone app with design and speed improvements similar to the iPad app, according to two sources familiar with the situation cited by Mashable.
This new information follows just hours after we learned Facebook engineer Jeff Verkoeyen quit the company to take a job on Google's mobile team, which he worked at for a few months in 2007. Verkoeyen said he made the move out of frustration over Facebook's failure to release its iPad app, which he led development for and says has been feature-complete for five months.
A possible reason for the constant delays is Facebook's strained relationship with Apple. Facebook did not allow Apple to use Facebook Connect in Ping because Cupertino didn't give Palo Alto any warning about the feature, which would have cost a lot of bandwidth for Facebook. Facebook was also supposed to be integrated into iOS, but instead Apple went with Twitter in iOS 5.
The relationship between the two technology giants is starting to turn around, however, since they both share a mutual enemy: Google. Facebook doesn't have a mobile platform and Apple doesn't have a social network. If this really is true, the Facebook apps for iOS could be just the beginning of much bigger things to come.
The original Apple iPad was released 17 months ago: in April 2010. An iPad version of the Facebook app has been expected since pretty much day one. Facebook is the most popular app on almost every mobile platform, if not all of them. Since there's no official version for Apple's tablet, there are countless third-party Facebook iPad apps that are very popular, even though most of them suck.
Apple isn't to blame here though – Facebook is. While Microsoft develops the Facebook app for Windows Phone, and Research In Motion develops the Facebook app for the BlackBerry OS, the social networking giant develops the dedicated Facebook app for iOS and Android.
In fact, RIM actually beat Facebook to the punch and released the first dedicated tablet app for the social network. If RIM can quickly release a decent Facebook app for its BlackBerry PlayBook, Facebook not doing the same for the Apple iPad is clearly not due to technical reasons.
Earlier this month, Facebook for iOS version 3.5 was released. In the new version, Facebook removed the unofficial iPad version that was discovered inside the app a few months ago.
This led to the latest rumor, which suggested we might finally see the official app at Facebook's 2011 f8 developer conference. Unfortunately, it didn't make the cut, again. Now, everyone is looking to next week as the next possible release date.