Facebook for iPad has been the single biggest ‘missing’ app ever since the iPad launched last year. They’ve had an iPhone app available since the day the App Store launched, but iPad Faecbook fans have so far been left hanging. Now it looks like that may soon change – as TechCrunch has reported on a near final looking version of Facebook for iPad hiding in plain sight, in the code for the existing iPhone app.
TechCrunch’s MG Siegler has a great article up on the discovery and his testing of the app.
So that’s the first bit of good news – that it looks like we may see Facebook’s iPad app very soon. The even better news? You can run this app right now on the iPad with a little effort!
I used these easy instructions from Flo’s Weblog to get it going on my iPad 2 this morning – and the app really looks great.
I’ve used all sorts of alternatives while awaiting a proper Facebook iPad app – the iPhone app in 2X mode, Facebook in Safari, and 3rd party apps like Friended, Friendly and others. Not surprisingly, the hidden Facebook for iPad already looks much better than any of those other options.
The app feels a bit like a late stage beta, not quite a final release version maybe. There are a few places where you can see things are not quite spot-on yet – just in little details – and the app crashes fairly often for me. Even so, it’s already / instantly my favorite way to access Facebook on the iPad 2.
Just a few of the niceties I’ve found in the app thus far:
— It’s got a popover at the top right of the news feed, to apply filters – so you can choose to just see photos, for example.
— The Friends gallery looks excellent.
— Notifications and live chat work very well.
Oh, and here’s one more bit of good news from Siegler’s TechCrunch article:
I’ve confirmed with a source who had previously seen the Facebook iPad app that this is in fact the very app that they were planning to launch with. We’ll see if that timetable gets sped up now.
If you’re a big Facebook user, it’s well worth taking five minutes to use the instructions linked to above to get Facebook for iPad going on your iPad.