Facebook plans to release iPad app to go with iPhone 5 launch

Sep 27, 2011
Tech

That phantom Facebook iPad app is on its way to the iTunes App Store, right alongside the release of the iPhone 5. At least, that’s the rumor according to an exclusive report from Mashable, which cites unnamed sources as saying that the oft-rumored and once-leaked Facebook iPad app will finally be made available on Oct. […]

That phantom Facebook iPad app is on its way to the iTunes App Store, right alongside the release of the iPhone 5.

At least, that’s the rumor according to an exclusive report from Mashable, which cites unnamed sources as saying that the oft-rumored and once-leaked Facebook iPad app will finally be made available on Oct. 4. That’s the same day that AllThingsD reported that Apple will be announcing its next iPhone model (or models), also citing unnamed sources.

Apparently, Facebook’s iPad app has been done and ready to go since May, but the company has been stalling it for some reason or another. According to Mashable, it’s because of a combination of weird timing and turbulence between the social networking giant and the tech juggernaut. Facebook and Apple have been having a rocky relationship as of late. For example, Mashable notes that when Apple rolled out its Ping service, Facebook yanked the Facebook Connect capability because Apple had never told it about Ping, and it would put a considerable strain on Facebook’s servers. There was also some talk that Facebook would be worked into iOS 5, but that boon eventually fell to Twitter, instead.

But things seem to be patching up between the two companies, if the release of the Facebook iPad app really is going to happen on Oct. 4 alongside the iPhone 5. It would make sense, as Facebook and Apple have a lot to offer one another along with the mutual enemy of Google to defeat. And there’s the fact that Facebook’s iPad offering could very well be the most-wanted app for the iPad ever: the simple fact that it’s not available is likely hurting both companies.

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Earlier this year, the app actually leaked out for a short time, because the code for it was found hidden in Facebook’s current iPhone app. Users with jailbroken iPads were able to access the Facebook app, which got a whole lot of warm reception and positive reviews, until the company updated the app and ditched the iPad code.

Mashable also reports that Apple is helping Facebook with its Project Spartan, an HTML 5 web platform that can be used by various mobile devices. Earlier this year, some speculated that Facebook was looking to create a web platform that would allow it to compete with Apple’s iTunes App Store on Apple’s own turf – through the Safari web browser or third-party alternatives. But Mashable says that’s not the quite the case: instead, it seems that Apple and Facebook might be hoping to undermine Google and its Android Market on its own turf. That could be very interesting.

The sources talking to Mashable wouldn’t commit to a release date for the Spartan platform, but Mashable speculates it could be coming along with the iPhone 5 and Facebook for iPad announcement. It seems Oct. 4 could be a very, very big day.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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