It does boggle my mind a bit that it has taken almost two years for Facebook to release an official app to access its popular social network on the most popular tablet on the planet. The new iPad app is now universal – giving iPad users that full screen / full resolution experience. On the pad, you get bigger, better high res photos that you can flip through like a photo album and pinch to zoom, easy navigation with fast multi-touch gestures like tap, slide or pinch to move from one screen to another, built in access to Facebook apps and games, the ability to share content or send messages from the News Feed, and the ability to see who might be nearby with the map feature. Most importantly, you no longer get that grainy 2x image familiar to those who used the iPhone app on the pad.
Facebook also released a new mobile platform for app developers on the same day, giving developers the tools to incorporate their apps right into the mobile experience. As developers leverage the platform, Facebook’s user experience should improve as well – with native or HTML5 incorporation, developers can access the mobile phone’s features within Facebook to deepen the functionality of apps.
As a universal app, these upgrades in functionality are available on the iPhone as well. Nice!
I note that some people have experienced problems updating the app – Facebook recommends that you delete the old app first before trying to install the new app.
Since Facebook is one of my regular iPad stops, I am very happy to see this release.