At last, after more than a year of waiting and behind-the-scenes drama, the official Facebook app for the iPad has finally arrived, boasting many of the social-media site's familiar features, plus an improved photo interface, instant messaging, and swipeable navigation that takes advantage of the tablet's touchscreen. But some commentators are deriding the long-awaited app as "buggy." Users who had been using Facebook's iPhone app on the iPad are experiencing log-in problems and crashes when they try to upgrade to the new app, and some in-app applications (Gilt Group, for example) are incompatible with touchscreens. Did Facebook fail?
This is very disappointing: These problems are "frustrating," says Chris Foresman at Ars Technica, and make for an "admittedly sour" first impression. Facebook knows about the crashing and log-in issues, and the company is trying to fix them. In the meantime, users have to delete the app and reinstall it if they want a comfortable browsing experience — which can be a major hassle.
"First look: Facebook iOS app upgrade with native iPad support, less crashing"
The criticisms are unwarranted: The app is quite the opposite of "buggy," says Kerry Butters at Britain's Tech Watch. If anything, it's "quite swish and easy to use." People complain whenever Facebook rolls out any new feature, but "the iPad app isn't really deserving" of the criticism. This simple app has "all the features a user could possibly want" like games, smooth scrolling, a new chat interface, and high-resolution videos.
"Facebook iPad app here at last"
At least it's better than accessing Facebook.com on an iPad: Though it's taken "a curiously long time to appear," says Jill Duffy at PC Mag, the iPad app is, at least, "visually appealing." Its emphasis on images — when displaying friends, the app "pushes the visuals more, emphasizing faces over names," for instance — makes it a lot more fun to use than any other Facebook options on the iPad. Indeed, the marriage between Facebook and the iPad takes advantage of the tablet's capabilities in an "amazingly intuitive" and "elegant way."
"Hands on with the Facebook iPad app"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Here comes the Pentagon's newest space plane
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Extreme haunted houses: Inside Halloween's most terrifying new trend
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- Everything you need to know about the voter ID controversy
Subscribe to the Week