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Totally bummed that Facebook doesn’t have an official app for the iPad almost a year later? You may not care too much after downloading the free Facepad app, which could be the slickest third-party app yet for the social network.
TechCrunch is reporting that Facepad - Facebook for iPad is now available. The free, unofficial third-party app brings the social networking giant to your Apple tablet in style, taking some design cues from Twitter’s own official app for the iPad while one-upping a number of decent competitors, including Friendly for Facebook.
“It’s pretty slick, and people seem to like it,” TechCrunch notes. “Since launching last week, Facepad has managed to get quite a bit of organic growth. In its first twelve hours the application served over a million ad impressions -- that doubled to two million impressions after 24 hours. Now the app is up to tens of millions of page views and is the 15th most popular application on the App Store overall.”
Like several other third-party apps already on the App Store, Facepad pulls its Facebook data from the touch.facebook.com edition of the social networking site, first designed to provide an optimal experience to iPhone users in the dark days before native apps appeared on the scene. However, Facepad re-skins the touch-friendly website and stylizes it with some of the same touches first introduced with Twitter’s own iPad app launched back in September.
“The biggest involves the way new windows are handled: just like Twitter for iPad, when you tap on a link to a piece of content Facepad will slide a new window onto the right hand side of the screen,” TechCrunch explains. “This allows you to quickly jump to a linked article and then back to Facebook without losing your place, or between multiple friend profiles -- something that isn’t so easy using a normal web browser. The application allows you to keep dozens of these tabs open at once, so you can flick across a bunch of profiles in a few seconds.”
Facepad developer Loytr claims that some big changes are in store for Facepad 2.0, mainly making “the whole application feel more like a native app.” For example, you’ll soon be able to flick through photo albums in the same way you currently can from the iPad’s native Photos app. Chat is also on the way, but the company is working hard to optimize the experience in a way that it doesn’t “feel half-baked.”
If your iPad is still on iOS 3.2, you may want to avoid Facepad for the moment -- there’s an update on the way to resolve some problems with the initial version 1.0. For everyone else, Facepad is free and ready to download now, making your iPad and Facebook finally work together in harmony at long last.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
(Image courtesy of TechCrunch)