Facebook has taken its sweet, sweet time in releasing an app for the iPad, which doesn’t make a lot of sense for a couple reasons. First of all, Facebook for iPhone has consistently ranked in the list of top free apps, demonstrating that there’s clearly a demand on the iOS platform. Secondly, with Google+ trying to usurp Facebook's dominance, the latter can no longer simply iterate at its own pace.
As we noted in June, however, Facebook has finally decided to develop an app for the iPad. Sources had said we’d see it launch in a few weeks.
Though it’s now been a month and a week since that report leaked and though Facebook for iPad has yet to launch, TechCrunch has uncovered executable code of the new app buried in the code for the iPhone app. And there are screenshots to prove it, like the one above. (Others are embedded at bottom.)
After poring over the leaked screenshots, there’s not much left to say but “it looks good.”
The app appears to make excellent use of the iPad’s large, colorful screen by employing white space tastefully between vivid profile photos, maps and more. A big change from the iPhone version, among others, is the ability to carry a chat with somebody in the sidebar while looking at other parts of the site.
Facebook has not yet confirmed a release date for the iPad app.
At the start of the current month, Facebook hosted a press event to announce its partnership with Skype along with the rollout of one-to-one video conferencing directly on the social networking platform. When the event commenced, CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg said the newly unveiled features would be just the first of many in this “launching season 2011.”
Facebook for iPad could very well be the next major new feature to arrive in the season. Other potential new launches could include a music service or powerful HTML5 mobile sites.
The full gallery of leaked screenshots can be found here.