Facebook is on the verge of launching a native app for Apple’s iPad more than a year after the device went on sale.
Nick Bilton of The New York Times reports that Facebook will soon release an iPad app. Yes, finally.
We had also heard in recent weeks that despite Facebook’s seemingly anti-iPad stance, such an app does exist internally, and has for some time. But we hadn’t been able to find anyone who had actually seen it. Well, until right now. We can now confirm the app’s existence with someone who has actually seen it.
“It looks pretty slick. Photos are fullscreen & really nice UI,” says a person who has played with the app.
The new app is also said to overhaul Facebook’s Chat and Groups features and utilize the iPad’s front and rear cameras for both shooting and uploading photos and videos, according to the sources.
Many people have complained about Facebook’s lack of iPad support, which has forced them to use either the iPhone application on the tablet or a third-party app like Friended or Facely HD. However, the company can hardly be accused of laziness.
More importantly, third-party Facebook apps have been flying off the virtual shelves since day one of the iPad (including a few that have tricked people into thinking they were official apps). Facebook needed to get on top of this situation, to ensure that they own their own brand on the device, not some third party. And now they are.
We have not heard a specific date the app will be released, but NYT says that it will hit the App Store in the “coming weeks”.
The iPad app is just one of several different projects reported in the last few days that’s kept the social media giant busy. Earlier reports indicated that Facebook is working on an HTML5-based web app for mobile Safari designed to circumvent Apple’s App Store — code-named: Project Spartan. There’s also Facebook’s big photo sharing project for the iPhone and the company’s partnership with Comcast on an enhanced TV watching experience.
But now we’re getting too far into the weeds. I’m just happy Facebook is finally releasing an iPad app.