Rumor: Facebook iPad app to launch next week

iPad owners who have been waiting patiently for Facebook to release an app especially for that tablet may not have much longer to wait. Mashable reports via unnamed sources that Facebook is expected to launch the iPad optimized version of its Facebook app on October 4, the same day that Apple is rumored to be holding its iPhone 5 launch event. In addition to the iPad app, Facebook will also launch a new version of the iPhone app with some design and speed improvements.

While you might think that creating an iPad optimized version of Facebook's app would be a high priority, considering the high sales of the tablet, Mashable says those efforts have been delayed. Part of the reason is that the working relationship between the social networking service and Apple has been strained for the past couple of years. Indeed one former Facebook engineer claimed in a blog post that the iPad Facebook app has been more or less completed since May (that blog post is currently unreachable). However, the two companies have reportedly decided to drop their differences and work together in an effort to combat Google, which has both its own mobile operating system and its own social networking service.

In addition to the new Facebook apps, Mashable claims that the company might also reveal plans to launch a HTML5-based mobile app marketplace next week. While such a marketplace might be considered to be a rival to Apple's own App Store, the story claims that Apple is actually helping Facebook to launch said app store.

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