Ready to reshape the tablet-scape in its own image, Facebook reportedly plans to finally debut its iPad app in a matter of weeks. "The app has been in production at Facebook for almost a year, going through several design iterations, and is now in the final stages of testing," writes The New York Times, citing sources. Along with a slick design and overhauled Facebook Chat and Groups features, the app is expected to go beyond the features available on the Facebook Web site by allowing users to shoot and upload photos and videos directly from the iPad's built-in cameras.
Mark Zuckerberg himself has reportedly been heavily invested in the process, "overseeing design decisions and the app's unique features," writes NYT. Regarding Zuck's supposed involvement, The Next Web surmises that "could explain the delay and sounds like Facebook's absence on the iPad was borne out of fear of screwing it up more than anything."
Going forward, "The new app could be a real boost to both Apple and Facebook," All Facebook writes. "According to the social network, there are now more than 250 million Facebook users actively accessing the service on a mobile device." What's more, "The availability of an app optimized for iPads might help sway tablet shoppers on the fence about whether to purchase an Android-based tablet or Apple's device," writes CNet.
Still, "It's odd that the world's largest social-networking service has ignored the tablet market for so long," ReadWriteWeb notes. "But that may have been a political maneuver on its part ... Facebook and Apple have been at odds in the past."
Meanwhile, sources also tell NYT that Facebook is working on an HTML 5 version of the site optimized for the iPad, but it's not meant to compete with Facebook's iOS applications available in the App Store. "Those comments appear to be a direct stab at an earlier TechCrunch report that says Facebook is working on an HTML 5 site optimized for iOS devices," PCWorld points out.