Is a Facebook iPad App finally coming?

June 17, 2011

In the nearly 15 months since Apple launched its iPad, there’s been one conspicuous absence for users of the tablet: a Facebook app.

That will change in the coming weeks, as Facebook, the world’s No.1 Internet social network, prepares to unveil an app specially-designed for the iPad, according to a report in the New York Times today.

In development for almost a year, the Facebook iPad app is now in its final stages of testing and has received close attention throughout the process from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the Times reported, citing anonymous sources. The report said the app will have capabilities beyond what’s available on Facebook’s website, such as specialized video and photo features.

A Facebook spokesperson told Reuters the company has nothing to announce regarding an iPad app and doesn’t comment on the development of future products. He said Facebook has a great relationship with Apple, citing the work the two companies had done together on Facebook’s existing app for the iPhone.

There has been increasing speculation that Facebook and Apple are increasingly at odds.

Earlier this week, the blog TechCrunch described a secret planby Facebook to undermine Apple’s control of the app market, by encouraging software developers to create apps that run directly in a mobile Web browser, thus bypassing Apple’s App Store.

And Apple of course struck a deal to integrate Twitter directly into the next version of its iPhone and iPad software, a move that could threaten Facebook by making Twitter the social networking service of choice for Apple users.

According to the Times article however, Apple will give Facebook’s iPad app prominent promotion in the App Store.

So perhaps the friction between Apple and Facebook is not as great as it seems, or perhaps the two companies — each heavyweights in their respective domains — simply have no choice but to play nice together in this instance.

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