I don’t use Facebook Messenger often, but I think it’s great that it was released for iPad. Facebook seems like one of the de facto messaging services for a lot of my friends at work and from university, and bringing the Messenger app to the iPad does show some forward thinking on Facebook’s part. Just as with Google and Hangouts, Facebook is treating the iPad as a primary platform, and allowing users to begin a chat on the desktop, and then continue it from basically any device they choose.
I’m also impressed with the app’s UI in general. It’s your standard two-panel affair, but it does have some fun along the bottom bar for messaging. There’s a clever photo picker, easy voice messaging, and large tappable stickers to play with. The UI sounds are also really on point. Just about the only thing I don’t like is the strange naming convention for updates. Facebook Messenger is supposedly at v8.0, but the latest update notes show a simple text display change, alongside general bug fixes and improvements. I’m guessing this is just a weird joke from the Facebook developers mocking the way that the industry does versioning on the whole, but as a user, it’s plain confusing.
I’ve said this before, but I’d really like to see more of the popular messaging apps make the leap from iPhone-only to becoming real cross-device services. After all, with the announcement of iOS 8 and mainline features like Continuity, even Apple is pushing for a consistent experience across devices. Facebook made the switch, and I’m hoping other services like LINE Messenger are paying attention.