The iPad was announced in January 2010, released in April 2010 and went on to become an instant hit. Over the past year and few months, Apple released the iPad 2 which included a new camera and several other new features.
There are tons of apps available for the device. However, the one that was missing was the official Facebook app for the device. Facebook literally did nothing about developing an official app for iPad for over 16 months, but if the NYT’s report is right, an official Facebook app will soon be available for the iPad.
Apple and Facebook have not been at good terms since Apple launched Ping and Facebook dissed them after which they signed up with Twitter. Facebook is also said to be developing something called as Project Spartan which will run in Apple’s iOS Safari browser, allowing developers to sell apps while they bypass the App Store. However, iPad and other tablets are still an important user base for Facebook who reportedly see anywhere between 10-25% of their users visiting through mobile devices including the iPad.
If Facebook wants to dominate these devices, they have to have a presence on it and this move definitely makes sense. Twitter already has an absolutely amazing app for the iPad and have even extended the same experience to their web interface. Facebook on the other hand are planning something big according to NYT sources.
One person who works with Facebook said Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive and founder, has been heavily invested in the process, overseeing design decisions and the app’s unique features.
People who have seen the application said it has a slick design that has been tailored for the iPad and its touchscreen interface. Facebook developers and designers have also overhauled the Facebook Chat and Facebook Groups features for the application. And the app will go beyond the features available on the Facebook Web site by allowing users to shoot and upload photos and videos directly from the iPad’s built-in cameras.
The photo and video experience is amazing, offering full resolution and full-screen images,said a person who has seen the app.
Since mobile phones have already been replacing point-and-shoot cameras and iPhone also set to become a serious photography tool with iOS 5, it was very important for Facebook to have access to those user photos on the iPad too. Apps like Instagram are a big hit, and Facebook is missing out on those user photos which make a big chunk of Facebook’s daily activities.
In addition to that Facebook will also penetrate a growing market which is set to be a big contender to desktops and laptops of the future. After all, we would want to travel with smaller devices rather than carry bulky one’s and if you are not present on those, it could harm your business.
Though there are currently no screenshots of the Facebook app for the iPad, we hope that an official announcement will be made in the next few days. Stay Tuned.