After over two years of whining and pining, it seems that iPad owners are finally getting their way, in the form of a dedicated Facebook iPad app. It really comes as no surprise that the application was coming, given that earlier this summer there was a bit of a snafu, allowing jailbroken iPads access to a prototype Facebook app. Granted, this was only through the existing iPhone application, when installed on the tablet. The hole was quickly closed by the powers that be at Zuckerberg and Co., but it somewhat let the cat out of the bag that the software was on the way.
Previously we had reported that decision makers within the Facebook organization, Zuckerberg included, had stated that there was no way that there would ever be a dedicated iPad app due to it not being a truly "mobile" device. This was met with a massive outcry that was seemingly falling upon deaf ears. Thankfully numerous other developers stepped up to the plate and delivered fairly solid Facebook experiences on the platform such as MyPad+ and Friendly Plus, but it was hard to shake the feeling that something was missing.
Just when all hope seemed lost, today Facebook launched a new site, dedicated to promoting a new iPad dedicated application. The new tool, piggybacking on the initial iPhone app, transforms it into a universal application that installs a whole new set of software for iPad users.
Some of the highlighted features include:
- Enjoy bigger, better photos -Your photos take on new life on the iPad. They're big, high-res and easy to flip through—like a real photo album.
- Focus on what matters - With less on the screen, it's easier to zoom in on your friends' photos, updates and stories.
- Navigate anywhere, fast - Just tap, slide or pinch to get from one screen to another and back again in no time.
- Never lose your place - Use simplified navigation to send a message, see your notifications or browse your bookmarks without switching screens.
- Play games on the go - Play your favorite Facebook games wherever you are, and on a bigger screen.
- Tap to send messages - A simple dropdown menu makes it easy to scan and send messages without visiting your inbox.
Probably the biggest step forward that the application makes is adding the ability to continue playing your existing Facebook games on the iPad. Thanks to the site's new implementation that utilizes HTML5, developers will be able to port their existing games to the service and make them available on mobile. Our owner Jeff Scott is going to be heading to tomorrow's Zynga Unleashed event, where he expects to hear several announcements on this front. A perfect example of what you can come to expect in the future would be titles such as Magic Land: Island, which is already up and running in the new HTML5 Facebook platform.
Stay tuned to 148Apps for more details on this exciting new development, as it breaks. In the meantime try not to lose the rest of your day cyber-stalking your friends from the comfort of your iPad.