When it launches later this week HP’s Touchpad tablet will feature one application that has yet to make it to the iPad, although it appears that HP (NYSE: HPQ) had to do much of the heavy lifting itself to write a Facebook app for WebOS.
Techcrunch managed to obtain screenshots of what at first was thought to be an official Facebook application for the TouchPad before Facebook clarified that it had nothing to do with the app. Instead, HP seems to have gone off on its own and used Facebook’s developer platform to create a tablet-sized Facebook application that will be one of the first things available for the TouchPad when it arrives on Friday.
Official participation by Facebook in the TouchPad launch would have raised a few eyebrows, considering the company has yet to build a tablet application for the iPad. One is expected to arrive this year, but it’s interesting to see just how valuable other tablet makers consider the Facebook experience to go off and build their own implementations: Research in Motion (NSDQ: RIMM) did the same thing for the Playbook.
HP is gearing up for one of the most important consumer launches in its recent history with the debut of the Playbook, its first tablet based on the WebOS operating system it acquired from Palm. A few retail stores have started to let customers play with demo units ahead of the official launch, according to PreCentral.