Mobile // Mobile Devices
News
10/11/2011
02:24 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Facebook Finally Releases iPad App

Native iOS application arrives for the device that generates more than 97% of tablet Internet traffic. But Apple wins an ecommerce victory.

Top 15 Facebook Apps For Business
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Top 15 Facebook Apps For Business
Facebook has finally launched its native iPad app, along with improvements to the Facebook Platform designed to support mobile Web apps.

The social networking company had been expected to unveil its iPad app, which was said to have been ready for several months, at its F8 developer conference last month. Reports suggested that the absence of the iPad app from the event was due to ongoing negotiations between Apple and Facebook that aimed to reconcile conflicting platform policies.

Apple appears to have forced Facebook to accept its terms and preserved its In-App Purchase system as the only allowed way to pay for digital and virtual goods: While Facebook is now requiring that mobile Web apps connected to the Facebook Platform use Facebook Credits as their exclusive digital and virtual goods payment mechanism, just like regular apps on Facebook, the company says that "Facebook Credits are not allowed in iOS apps or mobile Web apps that are running within a Facebook iOS app."

But Facebook hasn't walked away empty-handed. It now has a presence on the platform of the moment, Apple's iPad, which now accounts for 97% of all tablet Internet traffic and for more mobile Internet traffic than the iPhone (46.8% compared to 42.6%), according to ComScore.

[ Facebook's focus at its F8 developer conference this year was its new Timeline profile. Find out more. ]

Facebook's iPad app is by its nature more tactile, allowing users to swipe through photo albums. The app takes advantage of the iPad's large viewing area.

The app also includes a left-hand navigation panel to make it easy to interact with Facebook's various features. It supports chatting with friends, games, and the ability to view high-resolution videos inline.

Facebook for iPad is available through Apple's iTunes App Store.

The Facebook Platform enhancements bring social channels like Bookmarks, Requests, and News Feed to mobile apps. Bookmarks, for example, offer an easy way to engage with apps developed on the Facebook Platform. Previously they were available when accessing Facebook through a desktop browser. Now Bookmarks appear on Facebook's mobile clients, like Facebook for iPad or the iOS Facebook app.

Facebook says that of the 350 million people who access its site every month using mobile devices, about half use native apps and half use Web apps. The social network says it encourages developers to build both native and Web apps.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Nov. 10, 2014
Just 30% of respondents to our new survey say their companies are very or extremely effective at identifying critical data and analyzing it to make decisions, down from 42% in 2013. What gives?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 16, 2014.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.