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Facebook iPad Apps Faceoff

by on September 7th, 2010

With the lack of a native iPad version of the Facebook app for the iPhone, most people are left browsing Facebook through Safari. And it works just fine. But for those of us who enjoy a unique experience on that plays to the strengths of the iPad, it comes up lacking.

Currently there are two contenders in the race for your home screen: Social and Friendly.

Both seem to offer about the same amount of features but differ in the way that they’re packaged.

Social tends to re-purpose the Facebook website design within it’s own app, while Friendly does an excellent job of retooling the information for the iPad.

Social clutters both the top and the bottom of the screen with icons, making it clumsy to navigate. Friendly keeps everything at the top in a compact package. You can easily access everything through the buttons, tabs and search box. Friendly also lets you update your status right on the new feed page, whereas Social makes you navigate to your profile page to do so.

Another nice feature with Friendly is that automatically  loads the next batch of updates when you hit the bottom of the your feed. It employs a more readable font size and has a nice custom photo gallery experience as well. Social just recreates what you’d get for free using Safari.

Neither app features push notifications, and minor bugs do crop up from time to time. Social does allow you to greater control over feed posts, letting you hide pesky Farmville updates and delete posts. You won’t be able hide or delete posts with Friendly though.

Since Friendly is currently on sale for $0.99 I think it’s a no-brainer for anyone who uses Facebook and owns an iPad.

Friendly
Publisher: Oecoway Inc.
$3.99 (on sale for $0.99 as of September 6, 2010)

Pros
• easy to use interface
• custom designed for iPad
• in app browsing of links and videos
• Facebook Chat integration

Cons
• no push notifcations
• can’t hide/delete posts

Social
Publisher: Object Factory
$1.99

Pros
• in app browsing of links and videos
• Facebook Chat integration
• can hide/delete posts

Cons
• confusing and scattered navigation
• can’t update status from newsfeed
• no push notifications
• layout is so close to Facebook’s you might as well just browse through Safari

Dan Gaede is an Art Director living in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter @dangaede

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Posted under: Reviews