Despite Mark Zuckerberg’s assertion that the iPad isn’t a mobiel device, Facebook has been working on a native iPad app com for quite some time. In fact, not only has Facebook been hammering away at it for months, but it was even possible to unlock it on jailbroken iPads using the iPhone version of the app.
So where is it? Back in July, the New York Times said Facebook’s native app would be out in mere weeks. Here it is three months later, and we still don’t have an ETA for something as simple as a native iPad app, even as the world’s biggest social network has announced some of its biggest changes yet at last week’s F8 Conference.
Sick of waiting? You’re not the only one. The lead developer of Facebook for iPad has reportedly just quit the social network in disgust for not releasing the app, which was reportedly feature complete back in May.
Business Insider reports that Facebook engineer Jeff Verkoeyen has taken a job at Google because his native iPad app was never released:
Verkoeyen wrote on his blog today that he was the lead engineer on the Facebook iPad app back in January. He put a ton of time into the app.
It was feature-complete back in May, he writes, but Facebook kept pushing its release out another two weeks, then another. (Feature-complete doesn’t necessarily mean “finished,” but it’s usually the last stage before a public beta test.)
Now, he thinks it “may never be released.”
Strangely, Verkoeyen’s blog entry contains no mention of any of this, which may suggest that it has since been changed since Business Insider went live with its report.
We’ll keep you posted, but everything here groks: we’ve played with the Facebook for iPad app ourselves, we know it exists, and we know it works well. Business Insider speculates that Facebook’s beef with Apple is what is preventing the app’s launch, but I think the more likely explanation is that Zuckerberg’s right, and the website version of Facebook works just fine on the iPad. Ultimately, the social network would rather you be logging in through a web browser than an app, because that way it can serve up ads and change the interface without releasing an update. There’s no real conspiracy here, even if it is frustrating for those of us who have been waiting for months for a native app.