Last week’s ‘disappointing’ iPhone announcement failed to bring us the much-vaunted iPhone 5, but there was another notable no-show that the blogosphere had convinced itself would appear on the day – the long-awaited Facebook app for iPad. It wasn’t the first time iPad users had had their hopes cruelly raised – there have been months and months of waiting.
Today, though, the wait has come to an end, with news from This is my next that Facebook has at last released its native app for the iPad. So why the long delay? Unsurprisingly, Facebook isn’t talking about that - and TechCrunch reveals that the app was actually feature-complete as far back as May - but we do know that it wasn’t held back so that they could work on introducing the newer Facebook features revealed at f8, such as the Timeline view, which are conspicuously absent from the new release.
If you’ve used the iPhone version of the app, the iPad release will be pretty familiar to you. There’s a navigation pane on the left, allowing you to quickly jump to the main features like Messages, Groups, the News Feed etc, and although some of the newer additions to Facebook haven’t yet made it, old favourites like full-screen games and Facebook Chat are present in the new app.
Additionally, Facebook has announced updates to its iPhone app, with a modest UI refresh, and support for Facebook Credits to allow in-app purchases, app bookmarks, and various other new features. These updates aren’t quite ready to go yet, but will be pushed out to users in the not-too-distant future.
The iPad app is now available on the App Store – so be sure to head over there to get yourself some official Facebook goodness.
Update: Facebook has clarified via its Developers site that there will be no support for Facebook Credits within either the iPhone or iPad apps, presumably to ensure that Apple can still get its 30% commission fee from transactions. Business Insider believes that the impasse between Facebook's desire to employ Credits on all platforms, and Apple's wish to protect its cut from any transactions that happen on its platform, may have been the cause of the extended delay in delivering the native Facebook app to iPad, and that - in their words - "Apple won".
Images via This is my next.