Facebook may be one of the top destinations on the web, but it is not always the most iPad-friendly experience. From photos that don't quite fit the iPad's screen to links that can sometimes be a little too small, Facebook can sometimes be an exercise in fumbling through your friends life. Luckily, there are plenty of great Facebook iPad apps that can pick up the slack.
The Facebook clients listed here are free or contain free versions, so you don't have to worry about plopping down a few bucks just to take the app out for a test ride. And many of them feature multiple account support, so if your household has more than one Facebook user, a good Facebook client can come in handy.
FriendCaster may very well be the best Facebook client for the iPad. Rather than just imitating the basic look and feel of Facebook, FriendCaster re-invents the Facebook experience for the iPad. This results in a great interface that will give you immediate access to your news feed and the latest photos. A badge at the top alerts you to your latest notifications, and an easy menu system will let you switch from your news feed to your wall to your albums or your friends.
FriendCaster also contains a unique "Friend Steam" that provides a new way to read status updates. And in addition to a built-in chat client, the app also provides local checkins, so you can really see what your friends are up to when you aren't around.
Originally named FacePad, MyPad offers support for both Facebook and Twitter, so it is great for those who want a single app to check the two most popular social media destinations on the web. But don't think you can just read what's happening on both places, MyPad also allows you to post your status updates to both Facebook and Twitter.
While FacePad is definitely more of a Facebook client than a Twitter client, this is a nice bonus. On the Facebook side of things, FacePad gives a Twitter-like feel to your news feed and offers a clean interface for checking out profiles, browsing photos and chatting with friends.
While Facely doesn't have all of the features of some iPad Facebook clients, it makes up for it by giving you a lot of space. Rather than use the customary split controller used by many apps, Facely gives the entire width of the screen to your live feed, events, places and other Facebook pages. It also employs a nicely sized font, so your friends' updates really jump out at you.
In addition to a nice way to hit your news feed, Facely also has a solid chat client. So even if you tend to use the Facebook webpage for most of your Facebooking, Facely may be worth it for chat alone.
Friendly is a face-lift for Facebook rather than a true client. Built on web technologies, Friendly works like a web browser with unique Facebook pages, and while this leads to some rather unfriendly behavior at times -- like the top menu being scrolled off the page -- it also allows Friendly to go beyond normal Facebook apps, giving you access to features like profile settings and Facebook games.
As its name implies, Friendly hopes to give Facebook a more friendly interface for the iPad, and in many respects, it achieves that goal. The fact that you can do so much with the app combined with its support for multiple accounts makes it perfect for households with more than one Facebook addict. And while it won't top a full featured iPad app like FriendCaster in the usability department, it does win in the features department.
The official Facebook app lacks some of the features found in the top apps such as multiple account support, but it does have a clean interface and promises to keep up to date on the latest Facebook features. The app makes updating your status, chatting with friends and viewing photo albums easy, but there are some areas where the interface could be cleaner.
A great choice for those who don't want to go with a third-party solution but find the official website to be a little too difficult to use on the iPad.
"I just posted a picture on Facebook. You should go check it out!"
How many times have you heard that phrase uttered? Well, Facebook Photo Album is made just for those occasions. Not a true Facebook client in the sense of checking your news feed or finding out what your friends are up to, but it makes a great client for checking out the most recently uploaded photos.
Arranged like a -- you guessed it -- photo album, this app lets you flip through pages of photos, easily getting at the underlying album with a tap of a finger and flipping through individual photos with ease. And while it isn't designed for getting into deep discussions, you do have the ability to comment on photos.
Always deserving of a mention when it comes to Twitter and Facebook, Flipboard is a news reader that also connects with your social media. For Twitter, this means grabbing the links people share and turning them into a custom newspaper. For Facebook, Flipboard turns your news feed into an interactive magazine, complete with photos shared and the latest updates highlighted.
Easily one of the best apps on the app store, Flipboard is part of the must-have iPad apps list.