Well, at least until Facebook comes out with its official app for iPad. Until then, Friendly for Facebook, an app that’s been around for a few months now, is seriously aiming at being the ultimate solution to access Facebook from your tablet.
Criticized in the past for being nothing more than a custom stylesheet for Facebook sold at full price, Friendly was updated earlier today to version 3.0, which brings a lot of new features and a new login system. Friendly 3.0 now uses Facebook Connect to access your wall and friend lists, so I guess that means the app is an actual app now. Also, the developers added multi-account support to easily switch between accounts from a single dashboard screen with big profile pictures. If your iPad has become a “family device”, your kids and wife must be happy about this.
Friendly 3.0 also sports redesigned elements and an overall cleaner layout. I’ve been testing the app (again) for a few hours now and it also looks noticeably faster than before – it just takes some time loading your account on first launch. Lots of bugs has been fixed and the “browser” functionality enhanced, too: Friendly allows you to browse to any link outside of Facebook by tapping on the Google button in the top right corner. It’s useful for when you want to share items on Facebook from within the app without having to load Safari and login again through Facebook Connect. I also noticed, though, that the app switches to “browser mode” for some Facebook pages not included into the Friendly configuration. So I guess that, in spite of the Facebook Connect feature, this app is still based on a simple stylesheet format. For basic functionalities, anyway, it works; plus, casual users don’t know anything about stylesheets and Cocoa wrappers.
You can now upload photos from Friendly. What’s nice is that you can access the uploading menu from a “friendly” button that contains other options such as “switch account”, “write a note” and the infamous “privacy settings”. Photo loading times have been improved as well.
Most of all, Friendly 3.0 is available at $0.99 in the App Store. There are a couple of alternatives out there and Facebook will eventually come out with an official iPad app, but as it stands now Friendly is good, clean and fast. At .99 cents is a no-brainer.