How To Still Access Facebook for iPad + Review

Facebook for iPad

Yesterday Techcrunch was the first to report that Facebook’s highly anticipated iPad app was actually hidden underneath the Facebook for iPhone app. All it took was digging through the app’s code to reveal that Facebook has been working diligently on the app. According to Marvin Bernal, an iOS enthusiast who tweeted about the discovery, all you have to do is change the UIDeviceFamily string to 2 in the code. Of course, when Facebook was notified of the incident they weren’t too happy, and blocked users from using the iPad app. But as many people know, it’s not easy restricting anything from jailbreak users.

A few hours ago chpwn announced that he has circumvented Facebook’s attempt at blocking access to the iPad app. As a contribution to his week of TweakWeek, chpwn released FaceForward which allows jailbroken iPad users to still access Facebook’s iPad app. The process goes like this:

  1. Install Facebook’s official iPhone app from Apple’s App Store on your iPad
  2. Install FaceForward

Easy, right? As always, you can find FaceFoward in Cydia to download for free. Chpwn recommends not updating the official Facebook app until Facebook pushes out the official Facebook for iPad app.

The Facebook for iPad App

Now as far as the app itself goes, it’s great. From the looks of it, it seems Facebook has wrapped the app (specifically the News Feed) around it’s mobile site – just like the iPhone version. The user interface feels natural – everything is where you would expect it to be. It includes all the same features you see in the iPhone app: Places, Events, Chat, Photos, Friends, etc. Places is interesting because it uses the Google Maps API to display the map and not Bing, who Facebook has partnered with to “make the web more social”. I’m not sure if the app allows taking pictures with the iPad 2 ,but maybe one of our readers can help deny or confirm that for us *hint hint*.

But the app is not perfect. There are a few flaws that I’ve noticed while using the app. Some of the animations (such as moving frames right to left) are a little sticky. While viewing your friends list, the alphabetical sorting list needs to pushed down just a tad to include the “A” as it’s missing in both portrait and landscape modes. The app has also crashed a few times on me. Loading up the pinglio Facebook page (which I’m the admin of) crashes the app, but other pages (that I’m not the admin of) do not crash. But you should really take all these criticisms with a grain of salt because, as we know, Facebook hasn’t officially released this version of the app yet and should probably be considered beta.

Check out the gallery below to see screenshots of Facebook’s iPad app and the FaceForward tweak.

Facebook has been denying iPad users an official app since the iPad was released. It’s been a long time, but it finally seems we’ll be getting it soon. Plus, as easy as chpwn has made it for us, there’s really no reason not to install it (unless of course, you’re not a Facebook user).

Why do you think Facebook has been so resistant towards an official iPad app? What sort of improvements would you like to see in the iPad app? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Patrick is the founder and editor-in-chief of pinglio. He works as a system administrator and studied at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He currently lives in Chicago with his girlfriend and two dogs.