Facebook had just held a media event yesterday. Unfortunately, Facebook still doesn’t release the highly demanded official native app for iPad. Being an iPad user, it’s quite a disappointment to me. Well, I’m not a Facebook addict, but I hate to see a pixelated scaled-up iPhone app on my beautiful tablet. OTOH, I don’t want to spend a dime for a third-party app that I don’t think its function is important for my need.
However, I thought there must be a solution for this problem. As usual, Google came into play as my first source of research. Fortunately, the solution is available indeed. Alright, I don’t think you want to read my whole research story which I believe would be boring to the most of you. So, I’ll jump to the final conclusion which is pretty much a surprise: Facebook iPhone app is pretty much ready to run as native iPad app. And you can do it without a jailbreak. Yes, you read it right!
Here’s step by step guide how to make Facebook iPhone app running on iPad natively:
1. We’ll be playing around with app file so I warn you to back up the original app file first before proceed. Now, open the Finder. The Facebook app file is located on your “<home>/Music/iTunes/Mobile Application/” folder and the file name is “Facebook 3310.ipa” (the latest version). It’s there along with other app files.
2. Make sure iTunes isn’t running.
3. iOS app file (the file with .ipa extension) is actually a zip file. Now, rename the “Facebook 3310.ipa” into “Facebook 3310.zip”.
4. Extract the zip file into a folder, simply by double clicking it.
5. Look into the folder. You should find “Facebook.app” located in “Payload/” folder.
6. “Facebook.app” is actually a folder. Right click it and select “Show Package Contents” from the pop-up menu. You’ll see the content of the folder.
7. You should find “Info.plist” file within the .app folder.
8. Open the “Info.plist” file using any text editor. It’s an XML formatted file.
9. Find “<key>UIDeviceFamily</key>” text within the file. The text is located a bit on the bottom.
10. Below the line, you should find “<integer>1</integer>” text line. Select the text and copy to clipboard.
11. Right after the line above, create a new empty line, then paste the text from clipboard. Replace the “1” with “2”. From this point, you should see text like this:
11. Save the “Info.plist” file.
12. Compress again the zip folder. You should do this from within the root of the zip folder, not from outside it, to maintain the .ipa file structure.
13. Rename the zip file back into “Facebook 3310.ipa”.
14. Copy the new ipa file back into your “<home>/Music/iTunes/Mobile Application/” folder.
15. Remove the old Facebook app on your iPad.
16. Fire up iTunes.
17. Sync your iPad. You should see the Facebook app being (re-)installed during the sync.
18. Restart your iPad after the sync is finished.
19. Run your modified Facebook app.
However, I found a small glitch with the latest version of the Facebook app. The “Photo” button on the “News Feed” page would crash the app. You shouldn’t use it, instead use the “Photos” page which works perfectly.
P.S. I’m a Mac user. If you’re a Windows user, well… suit yourself.😀