Facebook's iPad App Works Kind of Like an Operating System - Technology - The Atlantic Wire ⇢
Adam Clark Estes
It took months of waiting, a couple of false starts and a whole lot of speculation, but Facebook has finally launched an iPad app. However, the upgrade is much more than a tablet-friendly version of the website. Facebook is also carrying over its developer platform to mobile. This means that all of the slick new class of Facebook apps that Mark Zuckerberg announced a couple of weeks ago at the f8 developers conference will be more integrated into the mobile experience. The specific details are a little bit confusing at first as Facebook is spoon-feeding the functionality to users, but we can already tell: Facebook is starting to function like an independent mobile operating system.
As [Facebook’s Luke] Shepard explains [here], Facebook apps will now be fully integrated into the mobile experience as their own apps within the Facebook app. If you receive a notification or request from a friend in a compatible app, tapping the update will switch to the mobile app if you have it on your phone or take you to Apple’s app store to download it. Shepard uses Words with Friends as an example. Let’s say your pal plays the word “quixotic”—a high scorer, by the way—you’ll receive a notification and tapping it will take your straight to the app to make your move. Facebook is also extending Credits to the mobile apps so you can also buy things within their framework. Again, it’s like its own little operating system within Apple’s iOS.
Facebook is headed toward a direct confrontation with Apple and Google (and Amazon and Microsoft) for the future of computing: the social operating system.
Apple certainly shouldn’t let Facebook create an independent app store.
When is Facebook going to develop its own tablet?