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Sobees: The iPad's ultimate Facebook app

It's not perfect (yet), but this fabulous freebie gives Facebook a glorious newspaper-style makeover.

For the moment, Sobees for Facebook is the slickest way to view Facebook content on your iPad. Sobees

Let's face it: the pixel-doubled version of the current Facebook app, well, bites. I'm sure the company will give us an iPad-optimized version at some point, but until then (and possibly even after then), I'm sticking with Sobees.

Sobees for Facebook turns your Facebook content into an attractive, neatly organized, newspaper-style page. Though it lacks many of the real Facebook app's capabilities (like chat and access to your in-box), for the moment it's my favorite way to share and browse updates on my iPad.

The "front page" consists of five handy sections: Breaking News (the most recent status update, presented headline-style), Latest Status Updates, Latest Links, Latest Hot Images, and Latest Video. You can scroll your way through most of these sections, though Sobees lacks a "more" option when you hit the bottom of any of them--a minor gripe.

The app also offers one-tap access to People (i.e. your Facebook friends), Photos, Events (a terrific browsable calendar), and Profile. This last one is a bit disappointing, as it shows only your wall--you don't get access to any of the other stuff (like Info and Notes) found on Facebook proper.

On the plus side, a recent update made it possible to write on friends' walls and read/post photo comments. Without those rudimentary features, Sobees might be a little harder to recommend. Here's hoping the next update brings more goodies, like chat and and in-box support.

By the way, if the whole "newspaper format" thing sounds familiar, that's because Sobees takes a page (pun intended) from Early Edition--which, as you may recall, turns your favorite RSS feeds into a lovely virtual newspaper.

Bottom line: If you're a Facebook fan who's not loving the pixel-doubled Facebook app, do yourself a favor and try Sobees. It's Facebook made pretty--and it's free!