It is here. After a long time coming, Facebook has finally released their native iPad app which comes as a universal bundle. If you are not familiar with the terms, this means that the current iPhone app is now updated to allow support for iPad. Just check for updates in iTunes and version 4.0 will include the iPad app and the updated iPhone app in one. Although there is a lot that has changed in the iPhone app, I’m focusing on the iPad app today.
While using a browser and the normal Facebook version has been OK, the interface of the new iPad app far exceeds what you previously have been able to get using any official or third-party solution. They have clearly spent a considerable amount of thinking when designing the interface because it looks gorgeous and functions really well. Facebook has always put out great interfaces on their mobile apps at launch but then been far to slow to update the app afterwards. Glad to see they are not disappointing when it comes to the interface. We’ll just have to wait and see about the updates, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
It Lacks Features…
First thing’s first. There are some good things. It has become very easy to access your different pages and groups from a nice navigation menu that slides out when you swipe your finger across the screen. Additionally, accessing photos as well as games has become very easy, something Facebook themselves are touting with this app. Unfortunately, the app clearly lacks features! As an example there is no sharing from the iPad app, only commenting and liking. There are other small features here and there that makes the iPad app (and the iPhone app too since it looks and functions the same) just a dumbed down version (albeit good-looking) of the website. It is unfortunate that they have decided to leave just a little bit out, instead of adding it too. After all, we are talking features that Facebook are highlighting well on the main site.
Facebook has come out with a great app and there is no reason not to get it and play with it. It far exceeds any other option in terms of looks and apart from opening the Facebook site in your browser, it beats the other options in functionality. It would be great if they tried to match the features found in the iPad app and on the site, especially given how many use the iPad as their “main Facebooking device”.