Facebook Finally Readies Its Own iPad App for Launch

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Late last night news broke that Facebook was finally making its own iPad app. “An iPad app?” you say. “Haven’t iPads been around for, like, a year now?”

Yep. The iPad’s been without a native Facebook app since its launch in April 2010. But the New York Times is reporting that sources at Facebook will introduce their long-awaited iPad app some time in the next few weeks.

(PHOTOS: Life Inside Facebook Headquarters)

The reason for the delay seems to be that the app has undergone several redesigns in order to be optimized for the best-selling tablet. On the other hand, a native app for the iPhone was available right away when it was first released in July 2008, and remains a mainstay among Apple’s top apps.

But according to reports, the new iPad app will have some exciting new functionality. Per the New York Times:

People who have seen the application said it has a slick design that has been tailored for the iPad and its touchscreen interface. Facebook developers and designers have also overhauled the Facebook Chat and Facebook Groups features for the application. And the app will go beyond the features available on the Facebook Web site by allowing users to shoot and upload photos and videos directly from the iPad’s built-in cameras.”

The hole in the app store left unfilled by the social networking giant has allowed third-parties to build their own Facebook clients and enjoy successful runs, like Friendly and MyPad, while the web experience has been accounted for as subpar. Thus, in addition to the new iPad app, Facebook is reportedly planning on optimizing its web interface as well.

Nick Bilton of the New York Times suggests that this partnership between Apple and Facebook could tip the tablet wars even more heavily in the iPad’s favor, leaving Google’s Android platform even farther behind.

Easier than hiring PR people to plant phony news about your competitor, right? Right.

(MORE: Study: The Internet Helps You Make More Friends)