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Facebook is preparing an iPad app

According to the New York Times, Facebook is finally making an official iPad app. While Facebook's iPhone app has been in the App Store from day one, it's been a long, long wait for an iPad version of the popular social networking site. When asked about the possibility of an iPad app last November, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg reportedly said such an app wasn't in the works because "The iPad isn't mobile."

It looks like that was an ephemeral "no" worthy of Steve Jobs. According to the Times, Facebook's iPad app has been in testing for nearly a year, and Zuckerberg himself has been closely involved in its development. People familiar with the app's development say its design is "slick" and well-optimized for the iPad's screen, and it includes photo/video uploading features tied directly to the iPad 2's built-in cameras.

Thus far, iPad users unsatisfied with the way Facebook's site functions on a touchscreen-based device have had to make do with third-party applications. I've been using Friendly for iPad, but I'm still curious to see how Facebook's official app turns out. As we heard earlier, Facebook is also planning an HTML5 application platform called "Project Spartan," but according to the Times' source, that is intended to "supplement" the iPad app rather than compete with it.

Like the iPhone app, Facebook for iPad will be free. It is expected to debut on the App Store within the next few weeks.

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