No Official Facebook App for iPad: The Implications

By Rahul Dowlath | Apple

The iPad is finally in the hands of the Apple fans. They’re currently gushing over the ultra-cool factor of owning an iPad, and the cool apps that they’ve already tried out. And I don’t blame them for being so excited — as I’ve mentioned before, the iPad is set to change the way we read books, and consume content.

But there is one small problem that will perhaps escalate as more users come to know about it: the absence of an official Facebook app for the iPad.

The Facebook app for iPhone has been a resounding success, so much so that it’s frequented the “top picks” on the App Store. So it goes without saying that it was expected of the social networking giant to release a native iPad app for the iPhone.

While the iPad can run current iPhone apps, either in their “iPhone-size”, or blown-up to fit the iPad’s larger, more vibrant screen, many new users of the iPad have already complained that these iPhone apps are atrocious on the iPad. Of course, iPhone apps were designed for the smaller device, and building apps for the iPad requires developers to consider more factors, such as the physical size of the device and its correlation to how users will now interact with their apps.

So why then would Facebook, who has enjoyed such success with their iPhone app, declined to produce an iPad-native version? Theories are floating around the blogosphere. Perhaps Facebook deems the iPad’s more sophisticated Safari browser competent enough to handle their site in all its glory?

Well, this isn’t the case, actually. The Facebook site has many bugs when used on iPad, such as pop-ups not displaying correctly. Coupled with this is the major exclusion of Flash support on the iPad.

iPad users are having to rely on third-party apps such as Facebook Ultimate, which leaves much to be desired in terms of usability.

Facebook should take a leaf out of Google’s book. The search giant successfully managed to utillize new web-standards technology in the form of HTML5, largely propounded by the iPad as Apple’s reply to their Flash issue, to build the Gmail web app. As far as reports go, the Gmail app is brilliant, and very well-designed.

Facebook needs to act now, if they want to keep their strong userbase for their mobile products. Sooner or later, some other developer is going to come out with a great Facebook for iPad app, charge a good sum for it, and iPad users will have no choice but to buy it, as Facebook declined to show support for them.

About the Author

I'm a young writer from South Africa, chronicling the changing tides in the ever-flowing river of technology. Focusing mainly on Apple-related technologies, I enjoy sharing my opinion and giving a few tips and tricks here and there on the latest and greatest from 1 Infinite Loop. I'm an avid blogger, and an even more avid reader.

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(4) comments

Netchunks April 6, 2010

I am pretty much sure Facebook will come up with an official Ipad app very soon since now every company has started to bring out apps for the Ipad

    Rahul Dowlath April 7, 2010

    That’s true, but they better come out with if fast, though, or as I said, they’re going to lose out big-time.

      Xarthan April 8, 2010

      Loose out big time to who? People are still going to use Facebook regardless

      Rahul Dowlath April 14, 2010


      I understand your point, but I think Facebook will have a lot of disgruntled iPad users who will not have a satisfactory experience, and thus they may lose out on a bit of traffic. Granted, it may not be that big, but in time that could be a problem for them.

      Great point, though!

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