We have been anxiously awaiting the new Facebook iPad application for over a year, but nobody thought that we might already have access to it. Digging around in the code for Facebook's iPhone application, TechCrunch's MG Siegler was able to find an executable version of what sources have confirmed is exactly what Facebook is planning to release in the near future.

Siegler spent last night playing around with the application and offers this to his readers: "In particular, the navigation system is great. Unlike the iPhone app -- which even its creator is complaining about now as being stale -- the Facebook iPad app uses a left-side menu system that can be accessed by the touch of a button or the flick of the iPad screen. The app also makes great use of the pop-overs (overlay menus) found in other iPad apps. When you flip the iPad horizontally, the list of your online friends appears and you can chat with them as they do other things on Facebook." For more of Siegler's review, visit his original post on TechCrunch. We've grabbed some screenshots of the application and embedded them below, but you can find many, many more on an updated post TechCrunch published this morning.

We haven't yet used the Facebook application on our own iPads -- that would require doing some illegal things, but it is possible if you're curious about trying it out yourself -- but you can tell from the screenshots alone that this is a huge improvement over every mobile experience Facebook currently offers its users. This is an HTML5-rich application that looks gorgeous on the iPad's big, bright screen and can establish Facebook as the social network to beat for tablet users.