Finally, the long wait is over. Facebook has officially released the much anticipated, much-talked about Facebook app for iPad. In case you didn’t read it properly – yes, Facebook App for iPad is finally out. It looks good, loads fast and so far it’s one great mobile app Facebook app.

I’ve explored Facebook for iPad app since it was made available, and so far I am enjoying using it. I’ve installed dozens of Facebook iPad apps before and I can tell you – the official Facebook app for iPad beats all the other third-party Facebook apps.

So, on with the show. Here’s our first look at Facebook App for iPad.

How to Get the Facebook iPad App

The Facebook for iPad comes as an update to the Facebook for iPhone app. Meaning, if you haven’t yet installed the iPhone version on your iPad, you’ll need to install it first. Then go back to iTunes and click on the update button for the app. The next time you fire up the app on your iPad, boom! There’s the much-awaited Facebook for iPad.

Facebook for iPad – News Feed View

First thing first, login to your Facebook account. Don’t you just love the way that blue background occupies your iPad’s screen? Right after you’ve logged in, you’ll be prompted by the app for the notifications settings – set it on or simple cancel the prompt.

Then we have the app’s main view. The main column contains your News Feed and on the right side, Facebook Chat lists all your friends who are currently online.

Facebook for iPad screenshots of News Feed view

On top of the screen, you’ll see a list icon, tap on that and you’ll see your account navigation tab. This tab has link to your Profile, News Feed, Messages, Nearby, Events, Friends and all your other favorite Facebook content.

Facebook for iPad – Profile View

Facebook for iPad screenshots of Profile Page

The app’s profile view is a simple version of your profile page when you’re accessing your Facebook account on a desktop browser. It has a link to your Wall, Info, Photos, and Friends. The main view has all your status updates. From here you can add a comment to individual updates, like your own updates if you must and reply to comments posted by your friends.

On the top part of the screen, you can click on several options to update your status, post photos using your iPad 2 camera or upload photos from your iPad’s photo library. You can also check-in to Facebook places. Choosing any of those options brings out a pop-up box to do the designated action.

Facebook for iPad – Info Page

Facebook for iPad screenshots of Info Page

Nothing fancy here. Just your usual information page listing your basic information, contact information, and pages you’ve liked, arranged in different categories.

Facebook for iPad – Friends Page

Facebook for iPad screenshots Friends Page

Now, is the best time to tell your friends to upload high-res photos for their profile pictures. The Facebook for iPad app displays these photos in a nice gallery, with the thumbnails measuring a square-inch. Tapping on any of your friends’ photos will quickly bring you to the profile page. Emphasis is on the word “quick” and the app delivers what is expected – quicker browsing.

Facebook for iPad – Photos Page

Facebook for iPad screenshots - Photo Gallery

The app’s photo gallery is also beautifully crafted. Photos are displayed in high resolution. Facebook did a pretty good job with the photo gallery. Viewing each photo is swiftly done through swipe gesture. Pinch to zoom in is equally robust.

Facebook for iPad screenshots of Photo Gallery

Facebook for iPad – Location Check-In Feature

Facebook for iPad screenshots of Nearby view

Also on the left navigation pane is the option called “Nearby”. Selecting this will bring you to the app’s Nearby feature where you can see where your friends are with relation to your current location. The app displays your friends’ profile photo as triangulated on the map.

At the top of the screen is the option to check-in. You can immediately see the location where you’re checking-in with relation to your friends who are nearby. This feature is pretty neat and works pretty well. This reminds me of Google Latitude, which lets you stay in touch with your friends by sharing your location and see each other on the map.

Facebook for iPad – Managing Pages

Facebook for iPad - Managing Pages

One of the things that I liked about Facebook for iPad is that you can easily manage Facebook pages. This is particularly useful if you have created several pages on Facebook. You can see this option also on the left navigation pane.

While in the individual Pages view, you can write post or share photos to your Pages’ fans, as well as reply to comments posted by fans. You will also be able to view related photos and information about the pages that you are managing.

Facebook for iPad – Other Features

If you use Facebook Chat, the iPad app also has this feature. In fact, the chat window is displayed by default. And the chat session is displayed via a small window on the right side of the screen. It’s not obtrusive to viewing the main view. The app also lets you watch high-res videos inline. Guess what? This works perfectly.

Say goodbye to poor-quality, low-res videos of before. Likewise, the app also lets you record HD video and immediately attached it to your status update. One feature which I have yet to test is whether the app will let you stream videos to Airplay devices.

What’s Missing in Facebook for iPad?

Much as I’d love to say that Facebook iPad app is nearly a perfect mobile Facebook app, I’m afraid I might earn the criticisms of those who might not like the app. But then, I don’t mind. I’ll say it anyway. Facebook for iPad is nearly a perfect mobile app. Well, as a matter of fact, it is a perfect mobile version of Facebook for the fact that it was able to mimic the many features that we’ve enjoyed using Facebook on our desktop browser.

But of course, there are other features that we might look for. Video chat, for instance, is not yet included as one of the features of the app. There might be some bugs in the app right now but I’m pretty sure Facebook is working to fix it in the next updates.

So far, I’m pretty satisfied with what Facebook has delivered. Have you tried out the Facebook app for iPad? How was your experience with it?

Get the Facebook for iPad app today from the iTunes App Store

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