As you have probably heard, Facebook is stepping up its mobile game with a new photo sharing app, an HTML5-based app platform, and the much-anticipated Facebook iPad app.
We already addressed the first two, but the iPad app has been making headlines for days and no one really knows when it will show its face. Supposedly, the Facebook iPad app will have extra features not found in the iPad-optimized Facebook site and will have a completely revamped full screen UI, which is sure to make iPad users smile.
If I may, I would like to name some features that would be incorporated in my ideal Facebook iPad app. Some of the features I will mention will surely make an appearance in the Facebook app, and some will remain a fantasy, but a man can dream, right?
The following are 10 features I would love to see in the up and coming Facebook iPad app:
- Full Screen Photos and Videos: The most important and impressive characteristic of a tablet device and the iPad specifically is the large screen. The display is what differentiates tablets from smartphones and enhances the overall experience. There has been much said about the new photo UI on Facebook.com and suffice to say, most people are not fans and find the new UI to be buggy and confusing. A solid photo and video UI on the Facebook app is a must-have.
- Dropbox Integration: This feature will most likely remain a fantasy, but the thought of full Dropbox integration in an iPad Facebook app raises all kinds of possibilities. Easily backing up your Facebook data to Dropbox, easily adding notes or files to Facebook from Dropbox, and many more scenarios. This might be a far fetched feature, but it sure would be an awesome one.
- Photo Slideshow: If you have used the Facebook iPhone app, you surely found that the photos often load way too slowly. How cool would it be if the new Facebook iPad app somehow pre fetched your photos and loaded them automatically as a slideshow? This is a feature that can’t be too hard to implement and would have me opening my Facebook app before I look to my iPad Photo app to show my photos off to my friends.
- Simple Privacy Options: The privacy settings on Facebook.com are so annoyingly complicated, despite their importance; I almost never go there to adjust them. If the iPad app is to replace the site, Facebook should provide a well designed Privacy screen in which I can configure my privacy settings without getting a headache. Wouldn’t that be nice?
- Multiple Account Support: Everyone is on Facebook nowadays. The other day someone tweeted that “I am not on Facebook” is the new “I don’t own a TV”. It would be great for users to access their Facebook in the new iPad app, then be able to hand the iPad over to their wife/husband and have them use the same app to access their Facebook, without the need to log out and log in again. The Facebook iPhone app does not support this but almost all Twitter apps do, no reason the iPad Facebook app should not support multiple accounts.
- Instapaper Support: This, just like the Dropbox feature will most likely never come to fruition, but the ability to save Facebook posts to Instapaper and read them later, would definitely make the iPad Facebook app more usable and efficient. Again, this is a feature found in most social apps on iPhone and iPad including Flipboard, which only recently added it, I would love to see it in the Facebook iPad app as well.
- Social Sharing Options: Think Tweetdeck meets iPad meets Facebook. I am fairly certain this will never happen, but the ability to tweet a Facebook post or add it to LinkedIn would make this iPad Facebook app an absolute killer. Unfortunately, something tells me Facebook’s ego (read Zuckerberg’s ego) is too big to include Twitter functionality in any Facebook app, and the iPad app is no different.
- Facebook Apps/Games Support: Many people use Facebook to play games and access apps. Unfortunately, most of these Facebook apps are Flash-based and we already know how much Steve Jobs loves Adobe. I am no developer and am not sure how or if this is possible or if it would require the developers to rewrite their entire app, but if somehow the iPad app was released with supported Facebook apps, that would make a lot of people very happy.
- Photo and Video Upload: The Facebook iPhone app allows users to upload photos but as far as I know, videos are a no go. The iPad Facebook site does not support either one. With cameras now built into the iPad, it is kind of a no brainer for the iPad Facebook app to enable photo and video uploads. I am pretty sure this is a feature we will see in the new iPad Facebook app.
- A non-annoying Group Implementation: Here is the thing with Facebook, the company; they have done a lot of things right, but along the way, they have made many mistakes. The way groups are implemented on the site is one of their worst mistakes in my opinion. Notifications for groups you did not even ask to join, as well as posts you did not subscribe to are just two examples of how bad and annoying Facebook groups are. The iPad app is Facebook’s opportunity to fix this error and make it right. Let’s just hope they seize the opportunity.
The question is not whether there will be a Facebook iPad app, the question is when it will be released. Supposedly, the company has been working on it for over a year, which leads me to want to believe that when it is eventually released, we will see a superior product like the Facebook iPhone app when it was released. Then I remember, we are talking about Facebook here, so I might want to lower my expectations.
This post has been written by Hillel Fuld. Hillel is a tech blogger who manages multiple sites such as Technmarketing, Appboy, and inneractive. In addition, Hillel has written on many leading online publications such as Mashable, Gigaom, and others. In addition to his blogger hat, Hillel is an active Twitter personality who defines himself as a “Social media addict”. When Hillel is not blogging or tweeting, he is the Head of Marketing for inneractive, a mobile startup that deals with app monetization across all mobile platforms.
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