Twitter officially released it’s iPad app a couple of days ago. Since I downloaded it, my experience of Twitter on iPad has completely changed. Prior to using the official app, I used TweetDeck on iPad, which, essentially, is a blown down version of the desktop app to fit the screen size of the iPad. It does not contain any features that take advantage of the iPad’s multitouch capabilities. And I was OK with that because, IMHO, it was the best twitter app on the iPad.


Then the official Twitter app was released. The new app is choke full of innovative features. Touch a tweet and a context menu appears to it’s right showing relevant information such as a preview of webpages referenced in the tweet, the profile of the tweeter, the last tweet of Twitter users referenced in the tweet, tweets that contain the same hashtag, etc.

All this information is displayed in a series of panes that you can slide off and on screen to move among the wealth of information relevant to the tweet. Other, less intuitive, features include multitouch gestures that allow you to get more information about tweets; pinch a tweet and you get information about the tweeter, drag down a tweet using two fingers and you get the entire history of tweets and replies if the tweet queried is part of a thread, etc.Overall, it’s an amazing experience.

While I have been happily playing with these features (I will admit spending the good part of half an hour playing with the sliding panes in the app:D), the app left me a bit disappointed. My disappointment was not with the Twitter app, but with the lack of an official app for the other social network I frequent, Facebook, for iPad.

I enjoy using the official Facebook app on the iPhone and installed it on my iPad as soon as I got it. But running the app in 2x mode results in a very pixelated interface. I actually bought a number of unofficial Facebook apps, including Friendly before the back to school sale currently ongoing, for the iPad to see if I could improve my experience.

None of them provided the experience I desired. Of course, you will probably be asking why not just go to the Facebook website using Safari? The problem with this is that some features just don’t work on the iPad browser. Among these features is the ability to scroll through a friend list. Despite these limitations, I decided that I would just go ahead and use the website until Facebook releases its official app.

My intial expectation was that a high definition version of the iPhone app would be good enough. However, Twitter has now upped the ante. I now expect to see similar innovations in any official Facebook app released for the iPad. At the very least, I expect some multi-touch gesture features that enrich the Facebook experience.

This is going to require some creative thinking on the part of Facebook, but with the growing number of iPad owners, it may be in the best interest of the company to design an app that is as innovative as the official Twitter app. Hopefully, the latest animosity between Apple and Facebook over Ping integration will not sour the app acceptance process once Facebook comes up with an official version for the iPad. I will be keeping my fingers crossed 😀

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