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Facebook's iPad App Now Available With Gestures, Cool Places Display and More

Today, the long-awaited and long-delayed official "Facebook for iPad" application became available in the Apple AppStore. Having been an early iPad user and an avid Facebook user, this is one app I've been wanting for a long time.

NOTE: I already had the iPhone app installed on my iPad and after "upgrading", the app repeatedly crashed and wouldn't open. Following advice online, I deleted the Facebook app from my iPad and then installed it again from the AppStore. It then worked perfectly fine. It would seem Facebook missed something in the upgrade process.

Once launched, the Facebook app gives you a nice view of your NewsFeed and your list of friends available online for a chat:


Touching the "menu" button in the upper left corner - or simply swiping your hand to the right - displays a left-side navigation menu with easy access to different parts of Facebook:


I found the app very easy to use and very "iPad-like" in that it used many of the common gestures and motions of many other iPad apps. (Such as, for instance, pulling down the NewsFeed to refresh it.)

One piece that was particularly cool was the visual representation of what used to be called "Places". If you click on "Nearby" in the left menu you got a map showing you your location and who has checked-in nearby. You can of course pinch and expand to zoom in and out of the map. In this image below I zoomed out to see all of the US and I could see who has checked in around the country:


Of course, this only works if people actually do check-in and, as you can see from this map, only a small number of my friends in the US actually do use this feature of Facebook. Still, it's very cool to see how it looks in the iPad app.

I've only started using the app today, but so far I've been quite impressed. Very nice use of the iPad display space, user interface, gestures and more.

If you have an iPad and are a Facebook user, you can get the app through the AppStore (note my comment at the beginning about "upgrading"). If you have already tried it out, what do you think?

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