To describe the Facebook iPad app release as "long-awaited" would be an extreme understatement...
It’s already been a year and a half since Apple’s iPad first burst onto the scene, changing mobile browsing, gaming, and portable entertainment forever. Users have seen apps ranging from the addictive Angry Birds to productivity-enhancers such as Dropbox, Instapaper and more. Every major news outlet has an accompanying iPad app, Netlfix offers a vast streaming video library through theirs, and more companies each day are releasing ways to enhance the customer shopping experience with iPad apps of their own.
So why has it taken so long for the world’s most popular social network to grace the iPad with its presence?
Whatever the reason, the wait - and the wondering - ends today, as Facebook finally released its iPad app.
[caption id="attachment_44142" align="alignleft" width="503"] Photo courtesy of Facebook Inc.[/caption]
Many of the social network's 800 million active users have satisfied their fix thus far by using a more than suitable replacement in Friendly – the unofficial Facebook app for iPad. But now with the “real thing” available, users can access the full Facebook feeling from their desktop, smartphone or tablet. And by tablet, we mean iPad for now...but Android users need not worry, as it is reported that Facebook won't wait much longer to support additional platforms.
In terms of app features, most of the talk is surrounding the magnificence of viewing your Facebook photos on the iPad, explained as being “bigger and easy to flip through…” by Facebook Engineer Leon Dubinsky in his blog.
[caption id="attachment_44143" align="alignleft" width="530"] Photo courtesy of Facebook Inc.[/caption]
But what does this mean for developers? Well, while many have focused on learning how to create iPhone apps or other apps for installation specifically on smartphone devices, there is sure to be increased demand for mobile apps built for Facebook – the new iPad app allows games to be played on a true "full screen" and in HTML5, enabling continuous gameplay across different devices without the need to install specific apps on each piece of equipment.
So with the new release, the question is "where will Facebook go next?"