After being glaringly absent from the App Store since the original iPad was released last year, The New York Times reports that Facebook is finally readying an official app for the iPad

The app has been in production at Facebook for almost a year, going through several design iterations, and is now in the final stages of testing, according to these people, who declined to be named because they were discussing confidential product plans.

An official Facebook for iPhone app has been available since Apple launched the App Store back in 2008. The iPad app, now rumored to be on the verge of release, should deliver a photo and video experience that's "amazing, offering full resolution and full-screen images". It's said to be a much better experience than browsing Facebook from iPad Safari and other, 3rd party iPad Facebook apps. According to the report, Facebook has put a lot of work towards overhauling and integrating Facebook's Chat and Groups features, and they're also said to be working on a unique iPad-specific version of the website.

Previously, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had gone on the record stating he didn't believe they should put efforts into making an official iPad app because the iPad "wasn't a mobile device". We wonder what could possibly have changed his mind?

[NYT]