Facebook Projects Hint At Bigger Battle with Apple, Twitter
At this time, the 25 million Apple iPad owners worldwide share with their Facebook friends by going directly to the website via their Safari browser, using the enlarged (and grainy) free version of the popular iPhone app, or purchasing and downloading one of the third party vendor apps, such as Friendly. This is about to change...
Facebook’s iPad app is about to arrive
According to the New York Times, in the next few weeks Facebook plans to introduce a free app that has been optimized to make best use of the popular Apple tablet. For many, the introduction of such a native app for the iPad and iPad 2 is way overdue.
I recall attending a live stream of a Facebook Mobile Conference held last November, keynoted by founder Mark Zuckerberg himself. During the conference, a number of individuals asked whether or not Facebook would finally create an iPad app, given the table’s growing popularity. To this, Zuckerberg stated his belief that the iPad was not truly a mobile device, and that Facebook would wait to see what other tablet operating systems emerge before spending any time developing an app for it. Many, including myself, left the conference feeling a bit put off, to say the least.
According to the Times article, Facebook says they’ve gone through a number of iterations in designing the new interface, that Zuckerberg himself has been heavily involved in the design process, and that work on the iPad app has been going on for about a year.
A year? It would appear that Zuckerberg was holding a big secret when he questioned the usefulness of an iPad-friendly Facebook app eight months ago. So what other secrets might be in store? Sounds like a number of them, and at least one that could cause an earthquake at Apple Inc.’s Cupertino, California headquarters. I’ll get to that in a minute.
According to those close to the iPad project, key features such as the ability to use the iPad 2’s cameras to directly capture and upload images and video have been fully integrated into the “slick” touch-based app, along with big changes to the Chat and Groups features. Given the popularity of the iPhone Facebook app, we can likely expect big things from the use of a larger screen and touch capabilities.Continued on the next page