iPad Social Networking Apps

TweetDeck

Like we said when we first saw the screenshots, TweetDeck makes good use of that wider screen to put more information in front of your face—the entire point of TweetDeck in the first place. It's fast and you can rearrange columns easily by double tapping, then dragging. So far it's a pretty damn solid Twitter implementation, on par with the desktop version of TweetDeck. [iTunes]

iPad Social Networking Apps

Daddy like.

iPad Social Networking Apps

AIM

It's AIM for iPad and it's free. The actually AIMing part works great in both landscape and portrait, even if you should probably use it in landscape mode to have both active IMs and your buddy list visible at all times. Typing is what it is—not fantastic, but good enough—and most everything is pretty responsive.

The Lifestream is a little weird, pulling in Facebook, Twitter, delicious, YouTube, MySpace and Digg streams from what seems to be your AIM contacts. By adding Twitter to this I expected the Twitter stream to function like an actual Twitter app, but it seems to only grab updates from whoever you have on AIM. Not that good, and I'd rather just use a standalone Twitter app. Free. [iTunes]

iPad Social Networking Apps

Good for AIMing, not so good for everything else.

iPad Social Networking Apps

Twitterific

Definitely prettier than TweetDeck, which we reviewed earlier. Twitterific is an entirely different paradigm for Twitter though, and the large fonts, big individual tweets and spacious design should be more than enough for regular users that don't have a dozen searches going on at once. There's only the free version now, so get used to ads. Update: There's an in-app purchase upgrade to go to the non-ad version. [iTunes]

iPad Social Networking Apps

Good and pretty, but free version has ads.

Ping

The iPad version of the Ping messaging app for iPhone has a lot of potential—it's basically SMS over the internet—but it's really buggy right now. The landscape to portrait to landscape transitions are funky and sometimes make the keyboard cover up the text area. Often times messages look like they send, but get stuck at sending, and it's one of the few apps that actually crashed so far. The biggest problem is that you can't share IDs between your iPhone and iPad, meaning you actually have to pick different IDs for each device. Really not good. When they fix these problems—the iPhone one was buggy at launch too, but got fixed—then we'll be able to recommend the app. $3 [iTunes]

iPad Social Networking Apps

Wait for now, because it's buggy and you can't share an ID between iPhone and iPad versions.

iPad Social Networking Apps

IM+

M+ is an instant messenging app that allows you to connect not only to popular messenging services like AIM and Gtalk, but also to Twitter and MySpace as well. It also has a built-in browser so you can surf the web while you chat. It's nice in theory, but in practice it feels really janky and hard to use. It crashed on me a couple of times and half the time I pulled the keyboard up the area to type into didn't show up with it. If you want to be connected to lots of services at once and be able to surf the web while you chat, this should be a decent option once they iron the bugs out. But as of right now, it's not worth the money. [iTunes]

iPad Social Networking Apps

Better in theory than in practice, not worth the $10

iPad Social Networking Apps

Facebook Ultimate!

I know, with the exclamation point in the name, you probably had high hopes for Facebook Ultimate!. This is rushed out shovelware at its most typical—a mercenary race to beat the inevitable, free official Facebook app to market, Facebook Ultimate! very well may be the ugliest, least functional skin you've ever seen placed on the service. Absolutely don't buy this app; it gives all the developers doing great things in the App Store a bad name. And given that Facebook comes free with every copy of iPad Safari, there's really no reason to drop the cash, even as a temporary fix. [iTunes]

iPad Social Networking Apps

An irredeemable piece of crap that Safari obviates.