Facebook Messenger a disappointment on iPad

The new Facebook Messenger app looks like a nice streamlined UI to Facebook IM, one that uses location and push notifications to provide an alternative to both IM and texting.

However, they dropped the ball when it comes to the iPad. The app is built as an iPhone-only app, which means it appears on the iPad in a little window that you can pixel double up to full-screen size. Yuck.

One wonders why they didn’t at minimum build it as a Universal app, which lets the UI scale up to full screen using the full resolution of the device. This takes literally 5 minutes to implement in Xcode. The ideal solution, however, would be to use the iPad split view, which would show your list of chat buddies on the left, and your conversation thread on the right. This is a bit more work to implement, but still easy to do for an iOS developer with any iPad experience.

Facebook seems to have the opinion that the proper way to use their service is through the iPad web browser, and that certainly works, but having the ability to take advantage of push notifications and all the other native goodies and access your conversations with a couple of pokes would be a better way to exploit the immediacy of the iPad interface.

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