Whatever Happened to the Facebook iPad App?

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There’s a Facebook app for the iPhone and Android, so why, after all this time, hasn’t the company released one for the iPad? Here’s the kicker: It exists, and it’s been more or less ready to go for some time.

TechCrunch reports that for nearly five months, the app was feature complete (and not completely finished) but still hasn’t been released to the masses. The lead developer who worked on the project and now works at Google, Jeff Verkoeyen, says that the app’s been feature complete since May.

(MORE: First Impressions of Facebook’s Not-So-Secret iPad App)

Verokeyen went into further detail on his personal blog:

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. 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.

Two months ago, TechCrunch discovered a leak within the Facebook iPhone app. By tweaking a few lines of code, the tech blog was able to enable it. They surmised that while it may not have been complete, it was nearly ready to go.

Verkoeyen, who had worked on the app for eight months and nearly 80 hours a week at times, said he became frustrated with Facebook’s decision to delay the app with ambiguous deadlines. The original timeline had the app pegged for a May release.

But the reason for its non-release may have more to do with the relationship between Facebook and Apple than with completion of the iPad app. Both the New York Times and TechCrunch report that things really took a turn for the worse last year when Apple launched Ping, its music-based social network. Facebook was conspicuously missing from the collaboration, though it has partnered with Apple in many projects before.

No one’s quite sure when the app will finally get released. After being delayed in May (and repeatedly throughout the summer), there were some rumors that it would be unveiled at the f8 developer conference, but that ship has sailed. Tech blog Mashable and industry pundit Robert Scoble pegged the announcement for Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5 event, but like all things, only time will tell.

MOREFacebook Finally Readies Its Own iPad App for Launch

Erica Ho is a reporter at TIME. Find her on Twitter at @ericamho and Google+. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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