I’ve been at odds with Android’s Facebook app for some time now, yielding classic features such as Why I hate the Android Facebook app and I hate you, Facebook and Skype apps. But those days could well be over. Crap!
“We've listened to all your feedback and just released Facebook for Android 1.8. Download it here and post your thoughts. We hope you like it!” says Facebook for Android. Aye, it’s pretty good, man.
Essentially, the Facebook app for Android is now more like the Facebook app for iOS, and that’s definitely a good thing. It’s ultimately slicker, and introduces a handful of features that users have long been crying out for.
The traditional Facebook trifecta now appears along the top regardless of what you’re up to, so whether you’re eyeing up your own profile like a self-obsessed narcissist, perusing the News Feed or composing a filthy for-her-eyes-only PM, you can see how many friend requests, messages and notifications you have at a glance.
And, as the three-step tour explains, you can bring each of the three up in a little speech bubble without navigating away from the current page.
Navigation is made easier with Facebook’s three-line icon thingy in the corner. A quick tap brings a sexy menu sliding in from the left, with which you can instantly jump to other junk such as Nearby, Events, Friends, Family, Account… Heck, my profile is even linked into a band page that I’m admin for. Nice one.
In an alarming turn of events, notifications now work. Incroyable! And they also appear to have tied in with Android’s own notifications. I might have to do something about that; muchos potential for annoying duplication. Ahh, here we go: Menu > Settings > Notifications. Simple.
Photo albums are now laid out in a significantly more attractive list format, and you can spy on Photos of Joe Bloggs – those random pics where your friend has been tagged rather than those belonging to a specific album. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty certain you couldn’t see them before.
I should warn that you’ll be greeted with a nice black screen for a short while as Facebook 1.8 loads for the first time. Being a cynical git I assumed the app had crashed, but it’s great once it gets going.
On the downside, as far as I can tell, you still can’t change your Facebook profile pic from the app, and pokes remain elusive, but those are fairly minor gripes.
- The one-two-three along the top
- The slide-in menu
- Notifications are back!
- Still feels like a compromise
Summary: Facebook 1.8 for Android is a massive improvement over the previous version. Massive.
Price: free @ Android Market