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Facebook Messenger goes universal with new iPad-optimized version

Social networking behemoth Facebook on Thursday released a new version of its Facebook Messenger application for iOS that brings with it a new user interface optimized specifically for the larger screens found on Apple's iPads.

With the update to version 7.0, Facebook users will no longer have to make do with a stretched version of the iPhone user interface when messaging friends on one of Apple's tablets. On the iPad, Facebook Messenger sports a split view with the contact list on the left-most third of the display and the conversation pane on the right, like most other messaging applications.

The iPad version retains much of the functionality of the iPhone variant, including sticker packs and voice calling. Video messaging —added with the version 6.0 update in June —appears to be missing, however.

Along with the universal layout, Facebook promises bug fixes and more reliable voice calling. The company also says changes were made to its backend services that will allow users to more quickly determine which of their friends are currently online.

Facebook Messenger version 7.0 is available now as a free, 39-megabyte download from the App Store.