A Review of Facebook v1.7 for BlackBerry Smartphones
When you're sitting in front of your laptop or desktop, do you find that sometimes (and I mean most of the time) your attention migrates from your work to Facebook? If so, you're not alone, it happens to many of us. We all share one thing in common- we are addicted to Facebook. Don't worry though RIM has you covered; you can stay connected to Facebook wherever you go by using the Facebook v22.214.171.124 Application for Blackberry.
Facebook v1.7 for Blackberry is great way to stay connected to Facebook without navigating to the mobile site. This application adds many more features that cannot be found on the mobile site, and it gives you almost all the things that Facebook.com does, but nicely packed into an application. With that being said however, sometimes easier, isn't always better.
Sized at 1.0 MB, Facebook for Blackberry was developed by Research in Motion (RIM). It is free to download, and you can sign up for a Facebook account through your Blackberry if you do not already have one. To download you need to be running a 4.2 OS or higher. I have it installed on my Bold 9650 running the 5.0 OS, and have not had any hardcore technical problems.
Facebook for Blackberry was developed as an easy/convenient way to stay connected to Facebook without actually having to get on a computer or go to the mobile site. It offers a wide variety of features that are very useful, and that can be integrated into your Blackberry.
Once you're logged onto the application you are directed to the main screen. Here you have access to your newsfeed. At the top of the screen is the main menu bar that you will use to navigate through the 7 main pages of the application.
- Newsfeed- (S)
- Notifications- (N)
- Camera- (U)
- Friends- (F)
- Add a Friend- (J)
- Write on a Wall- (W)
- Send a Message- (M)
The first page of the application is similar to the main page on Facebook. It contains the newsfeed and a place to share your statuses. You also have the opportunity to comment, like, or see wall-to-wall posts. As you can see from the screenshot above, you can also filter your newsfeed, by selecting one of the options from the ‘News Feed' drop down box.
The next page is your notification center. All your notifications are found here, and it is set up similar to an inbox. If you have your various notifications set to ‘on', they will appear in your messages inbox by default as well. I have mine set to off, which can be done only through turning off the email notifications through the actual Facebook website. Sometimes the notifications become annoying, especially when you are having a conversation via walls or comments.
You can upload pictures from your Blackberry directly to Facebook using the camera icon. Once you click the icon, you will be asked to choose a picture. The next feature is really neat in my opinion. You have the opportunity to tag yourself and friends using the red square and cross in the screenshot above. I used this feature right before writing this and was blown away by how easy it was. Facebook definitely brought their a-game with this.
The next page is your friend list. This page is relatively simple, and it is similar to a friend directory. Here you can do a variety of things, write on a wall, request a phone number, send a message, and poke a friend. This is where easier is not always better, I usually never use this page, however when I sometimes click the icon, I have to wait for my entire friend list to update. This can take a large amount of time depending on how many friends you have (hopefully you aren't too popular). I find this page annoying.
Adding friends via this application is easy; all you need is their email address. Not much to this feature, however you can't search using their name like on the main website.
I combined the breakdown of the wall posts and messages. They are almost exact carbon copies of one another, and are easy to use. I've used both of these features many times, and they work very well.
Clicking the Blackberry button will bring up a set of options, varying from the application options to launching the mobile site. There isn't really anything special in that list to feature.
A really cool feature that I enjoy the most is connecting Facebook friends to contacts in your address book. This gives you a variety of shortcuts and provides a Facebook avatar for the contact. The screenshot above shows the shortcuts, and also you can see the little picture with the ‘f' in the corner. To connect a friend with an address book contact, simply go to their profile on the application, click the Blackberry button, select "Connect to Blackberry Contact", and select the contact. This feature will also ask to request their phone number(s) if you don't already have it.
The last feature I am going to go over is the calendar integration. This is another feature that I like a lot. Facebook will automatically sync your Blackberry calendar to your event invitations on Facebook (includes events that you are just invited to, even if you haven't checked attending). It also includes birthdays, which makes remembering them a lot easier. I use this feature a lot, especially since I'm not that interested in having a paper calendar.
My conclusion of this application is that it offers a lot of features that the mobile website cannot, such as a complex newsfeed, a soft and friendly user interface, and contacts and calendar syncing. I use this application multiple times a day and usually have zero problems. I do however stay clear of certain parts of it, such as the friend list and messages because of the slowness because of updating. For the most part this application works perfectly for me, and if I can't do something on it I can just go to the mobile site. For the Facebook addict, it is worth the download because of the simple and neat features, but for the Facebook novice who might get annoyed with the sometimes-large updates of the friend list and newsfeed, and also the lack of friend ‘info', it may be best to just browse the mobile site. If anything, give it a test and if you don't like it just uninstall it.
- Direct photo uploading and tagging
- Connect FB friend to BB Contact
- Sync FB events to BB Calendar
- Soft and easy interface
- Sometimes slowness
- Large newsfeed and friend list updates
- Large amount of notifications
- Lack of Facebook friend ‘info'
** This review was written as part of the CrackBerry Idol 2010 competition. Click for details. **