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Farmville Crops Up For iPad

Popular Facebook game comes to Apple's tablet with app modified to leverage the hardware's interface and larger screen.

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Facebook game sensation Zynga on Thursday released Farmville for Apple's iPad.

The free app, designed specifically for the popular tablet PC, allows players to tend to their virtual farms on the web, the iPhone, and the iPad. It is available for download at the iTunes download store.

"We want to reach people wherever they want to play the games they love, and deliver the most fun and social experience on every platform," said Steven Chiang, president of studios at Zynga. "The iPad is a spectacular gaming device, and the new Farmville app leverages its larger touchscreen interface and enhanced graphics. Farmville on the iPhone was an instant hit and now we are giving people another Apple device to play on."

Farmville on iPad includes custom graphics designed to take advantage of the iPad's larger screen and touch interface, according to Zynga. Players can swipe a finger or double-tap to zoom in and out in order to view their farms, harvest crops, or drive tractors. The game will alert iPad users to their crops' status and farms via push notifications, the developer said.

No doubt Apple hopes the new game will encourage increased adoption of apps on its iPad platform. Up to one-third of iPad users have yet to download a single app, according to a new Nielsen study, which found that 4% of households in the United States own a tablet PC. In fact, 65% of those who have downloaded an app paid for them, while only 5% have downloaded free apps, Nielsen found.

The good news for Zynga? Of those who paid for apps, 62% bought games, 54% purchased books, and 45% spent their money on news or shopping, the report said.

Zynga launched its Farmville app for the iPhone on June 24, and it has spent more than 50 days in the Top 25 games on iTunes, Zynga said. Currently, there are players in 85 different countries playing Farmville for iPhone, according to Zynga. More than 60 million people across the world play Farmville, roughly 1% of the global population, the developer said.

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