While you can run Facebook’s mobile app for the iPhone on the iPad, the company has yet to launch an official iPad app designed to take advantage of the extra screen space on the tablet’s larger display. But it looks like Facebook for the iPad is on the way, because the folks at TechCrunch discovered this morning that there’s already an iPad user interface tucked away in the code for the latest Facebook iOS app.
Facebook pushed out what was billed as a minor update this weekend that changed the restored a “send” button for comments, chat, and messages that had been removed, as well as a few other little changes. But the new app also has everything you need to add a sidebar for searching Facebook or navigating through your news feed, messages, events, friends, places, and other sections on the left side of the screen.
The new app also includes pop-up windows so that you can write a status update or share a link without the message window taking over the whole screen.
TNW has posted step-by-step instructions for enabling the new iPad view. In a nutshell you’re going to need to jailbreak your device, install an app that allows you to modify the UIDeviceFamily setting for the app, and then reboot your device.
If you don’t want to jailbreak your device or find the instructions too complicated, it seems likely that Facebook will offer the app to the public soon, since it already seems to be largely ready to go. But if you’ve already got a jailbroken iPad and you’re tired of using the iPhone version of Facebook on it, there doesn’t seem to be much reason not to update. You’ll probably want to backup your device using iTunes first though, just in case anything goes wrong and you need to restore your apps and other data.
You can find more screenshots at TechCrunch.
Update: It looks like Facebook has disabled access for now. If you’ve already hacked the Facebook app you should be able to continue using it, but new users are finding that they can’t login using the new tablet-friendly view.