Social for the iPad

App review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
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App for viewing Facebook feels glitchy and redundant.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

While some aspects of this app, like viewing photos, actually seem to work smoother than they do on the Facebook website, other aspects, like playing games, are much trickier and more glitchy.

Violence

Just like Facebook, this app may allow links to violent or disturbing images or speech.

Sex

The user-created material on Facebook can (and frequently does) contain sexual content, from graphic status updates to inappropriate photos.

Language

Again, this depends entirely on the people you interact with through Facebook, but the language can be very coarse and profane, as it is unmonitored.

Consumerism

Unlike the real Facebook website, Social contains no ads.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

If Facebook friends talk about alchohol and drugs or post picture of themselves smoking or drinking, you'll see it.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Social for the iPad exists as a supposedly simpler way to access your Facebook account on your iPad. So parents' concerns about Facebook itself apply here as well. Make sure privacy settings are kept at a level that prevents strangers from viewing your children's posts and pictures. Also, be aware that while there is no official Facebook app for the iPad (one exists only for iPhone and iPod Touch), there are other third-party iPad apps that also allow you Facebook access. And the Facebook website can be accessed for free through the built-in Safari web browser on the iPad.

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Is it any good?

SOCIAL FOR THE iPAD gives you a larger, cleaner, ad-free view of your Facebook page than you'll get when simply visiting the site via the web on your iPad. It works reasonably well for making posts and loading photos, but is also plagued with bugs and glitches. You may find yourself having to log in several times, and you may experience moments where your friend list cuts off or some other aspect of the page gets stuck. If you're patient enough to work through those annoying moments, you'll get to experience a decent mirror of the Facebook site. But with the actual Facebook site working pretty well through the iPad's web browser, you may want to think twice before purchasing Social.

App details

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