Ex-Facebook dev talks about iPad app delays

Jeff Verkoeyen, an ex-Facebook developer who was the lead engineer on the Facebook for iPad project, wrote on his personal blog about the internal battle that took place between him and Facebook, and goes a long way to explaining why we still haven't seen the app.

It is now nearly 5 months since the app was feature complete and I haven’t seen it released except for when the project was leaked on Techcrunch. Needless to say this was a frustrating experience for me. The experience of working on this app was a large contribution to the reasons why I left Facebook, though that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a difficult decision.

MG Siegler at TechCrunch suspects the delay may be tied to negotiation issues between Apple and Facebook, even though Apple would do well in having an official Facebook for iPad app in the App Store. As you may recall, they were in talks for upwards of 18 months on the Ping deal that ultimately fell through at the last minute because Facebook demanded too much in terms of user information.

But Apple has always wanted Facebook to release an iPad app. The Facebook iPhone app is the most downloaded app of all time. And there are countless third-party Facebook iPad apps that are amongst the top downloads all time, even though most aren’t very good. At first, Facebook wasn’t going to focus on the iPad. Then they decided to, but they also realized the app could be used as leverage in their dealings with Apple. That’s what we believe has been going on over the past several months.

It's also possible that the delayed iPad app has something to do with Facebook's Project Spartan, an app store that will offer games and news apps that run inside Safari, or as Web Clips on the home screen. Facebook and Apple could be working together on the HTML5 project, prompting continuous delays for the iPad app as deals are hammered out.

Robert Scoble also chimed in last week (on Google+ of all places) noting that Facebook may be holding off until Apple's iPhone 5 announcement on October 4th.

By the way, I heard a rumor from a usually credible source that Facebook may not announce an iPad app tomorrow, but will save it for October 4th instead. Now THAT will be very interesting news, since I know Apple really hates Facebook.

Either way, our patience is wearing thin... In the meantime, check out our Top 5 Facebook Apps for iPad to hold you over until the official app is released.

Source: Jeff Verkoeyen via TechCrunch, Robert Scoble