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Facebook launches official app for Apple's iPad on App Store

Facebook Monday afternoon revealed it is set to launch its long-awaited official application for the iPad, as a free download on Apple's App Store.

Though it is not yet available to download on the App Store, the software was outed Monday afternoon in a story from Reuters. The software arrives alongside support for social games, like Zynga's Farmville, on the mobile versions of the website.

As for the mobile games, the company's iPhone application will not support the "Credits" currency for social titles, because of Apple's terms of service for software available on the App Store. Third-party application developers will be required to support Credits in the mobile versions of their Facebook games.

Of course, Apple does not control content available in the Safari browser on the iPhone and iPad, meaning players of games like Farmville will be able to purchase credits by accessing the mobile version of the website rather than the devoted application.

Facebook has touted that its new application is a "new way to experience" the social networking service. Features of the official iPad application include:

  • Enjoy bigger, better photos: Your photos take on new life on the iPad. They're big, high-res and easy to flip through—like a real photo album.
  • Focus on what matters: With less on the screen, it's easier to zoom in on your friends' photos, updates and stories.
  • Navigate anywhere, fast" Just tap, slide or pinch to get from one screen to another and back again in no time.
  • Never lose your place: Use simplified navigation to send a message, see your notifications or browse your bookmarks without switching screens.
  • Play games on the go: Play your favorite Facebook games wherever you are, and on a bigger screen.
  • Tap to send messages: A simple dropdown menu makes it easy to scan and send messages without visiting your inbox.

Rumors have existed for months that Facebook has been working on a version of its iOS application designed to take advantage of the 9.7-inch display of the iPad. In the absence of an official Facebook application, options like "MyPad" and "Friendly" have sought to fill the void.

An official site set up for the Facebook for iPad software links to the existing Facebook application for the iPhone on the App Store. That means that when it's available, iPad support will come from a universal application with support for both the iPhone and iPad included.

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A full-fledged iPad application was found hidden within the existing Facebook application for iPhone earlier this month. It could be enabled and accessed through a tweak, though the social networking service quickly blocked access for unauthorized users.

Prior to last week's iPhone 4S event, there were rumors that Facebook could release its official iPad software to coincide with the event, but those claims proved to be inaccurate.