Is Facebook finally ready to launch an iPad app?

Facebook won't officially confirm that it is ready to launch an official iPad app, but some believe it will arrive in the coming weeks.
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor

More than a year after Apple introduced the iPad, Facebook is reportedly getting ready to release an app for the popular tablet in the coming weeks. The Facebook app for the iPad has been allegedly in development for almost a year, with Mark Zuckerberg taking a personal interest in making sure it is carefully designed and optimized for the tablet. Facebook is also supposedly redesigning its website for the iPad, according to people briefed on Facebook's plans, who declined to be named because they were discussing confidential product plans but were willing to be cited by The New York Times.

In addition to a slick design that has been tailored for the iPad's touchscreen interface, Facebook developers and designers have overhauled the Facebook Chat and Facebook Groups features specifically for the app. The app also lets users shoot photos and videos from the iPad's camera and then upload them directly to Facebook.

The app isn't really anything special: it's just like the Facebook app for Android or the Facebook app for iPhone, but made to take advantage of a larger screen. Still, it's been a long time coming, and after several design iterations, the app is now in the final stages of testing.

In the meantime, third parties have profited from Facebook's delays. They have introduced Facebook-friendly applications for the iPad, including My Pad, iFace, and Friendly. Once Facebook launches its official app, many of them will likely lose millions of users. Apple will reportedly promote the new app by featuring it prominently in its App Store.

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