Facebook iPad App ReviewWritten by John Thompson on October 10, 2011 · Filed under Review, Software
We’ve known about its existence for months already, and we’ve even seen it accidentally bundled and leaked with the iPhone application, but we now, finally, have an official Facebook application in the iPad App Store.
The interface of the app is very similar to that of the Facebook website. At the top of the screen is a toggle which will reveal the sidebar, where you can search for friends, and view your favourites, groups, apps and pages. You can also do a swipe across gesture to reveal this sidebar as well, if you’re too lazy to tap. Next to this button are three others, which will reveal drop down menus, allowing you to view all of your friend requests, messages and other notifications as well.
From the main section of the app, you can change your status, upload a photo, and check in from your current location. As with the mobile iPhone and Android application, Facebook will utilise the GPS capability of your iPad in order to ascertain your location and offer suggestions for checking in.
The interface looks really clean, and the sidebar on the left hand side is a great addition to the app offering a lot of functionality without sacrificing any space within the main interface.
If you’ve been using an instant messaging client in the past for talking to all of your friends on Facebook, then you may like to hear that Facebook Chat functionality is built right in to the iPad app.
On the right hand side of the screen, all of the people that are currently online will be listed, similar to how they would be seen on the Facebook website. To open a chat, you can simply tap on the person’s name, and the sidebar will transform in to a mini chat window, without encroaching on the main interface at all. This means that you can chat with friends whilst still having full access to your news feed and any updates that may come through.
Another clever feature of the chat interface is that you can actually view any incoming messages from people without having to enter the conversation view. This way, you know whether or not you’ll want to reply to a new message without having to tap on the recipient and losing access to all of your other friends who are online.
If you want to view your news feed and browse through the app without being shown as “online”, you can do this as well. Simply tap the button next to the “Chat” label, and you will be given the option to go offline.
Overall, the Facebook for iPad app is really easy to use and navigate thanks to the familiar interface of the website, and it worked great when I was testing it on my iPad. Some other users have reported minor bugs, but I didn’t come across many myself, and it’s a free application, so Facebook users should definitely take it for a spin.