After an absurdly long wait, Facebook will reportedly launch its dedicated iPad app during Apple’s iPhone 5 event on October 4, reports Ben Parr at Mashable, who spoke with people familiar with the matter. An updated version of its iPhone app, as well as an HTML5 web-based app marketplace may also be on the release roster.
The release does not come without a dose of drama. First is the fact that the iPad app – leaked to TechCrunch in July – has apparently been ready for months. In a blog post* published today, Jeff Verkoeyen, the Facebook engineer who led development of the iPad app, says he worked up to 80 hours per week, crunching to get the app done in time. But Facebook kept pushing the release date back, so far that it is (obviously) still not yet available. Verkoeyen says his frustration with the constantly moving release date played a role in his decision to leave Facebook for a job at Google.
“It is now nearly 5 months since the app was feature complete and I haven’t seen it released except for when the project was leaked on Techcrunch,” wrote Verkoeyen. “Needless to say this was a frustrating experience for me. The experience of working on this app was a large contribution to the reasons why I left Facebook, though that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a difficult decision.”
Adding to the complications with Facebook’s iPad app is the social network’s reportedly tumultuous relationship with Apple. When Apple announced its upcoming mobile operating system, iOS 5, many wondered why Twitter – not Facebook – received full integration with the popular OS. According to Parr, Facebook was meant to be integrated into iOS “years ago,” but disagreements between the two companies prevented the marriage.
If Mashable’s sources turn out to be correct, it would seem Facebook and Apple have put their purported differences aside, at least long enough to roll out a new app or two.
*At the time of this writing, Verkoeyen’s blog was unable to load, presumably due to an usual flood of traffic brought upon by his telling post.