Facebook finally updated their App for the iPhone a few days ago with some big changes to the interface and lots of new and improved features. May I just say that I have been waiting for this update for what has felt like ages! On the old version, many of the so called features just didn’t work! There was many a time where I would click on the link to view pictures my friends had been tagged in and it just never worked! There were often crash issues and the chat didn’t always work, so I had big hopes for this new update which had taken so long to finally arrive!
I’ve been using the new and improved 3.0 for about two days now and so far, I’m impressed. It took a little while to get used to the new interface but it’s second nature now. One of the first big changes in the new version is the ‘grid-like’ home screen which reminds me of the iPhone’s home screen with your apps arranged for easy accessibility. You can choose to add more pages (just like the iPhone) with quick links to your friends pages and fan pages that you view regularly. It’s very much like the iPhone home screen in that you can swipe left or right to view your desired friends and links and you can also rearrange the icons to your personal preference. All in all I like this new layout and I think it links everything up nicely without complicating things further.
You can now view your friends birthdays and upcoming events as well as all your fan pages. It’s also possible to RSVP to events within the app and also write and view notes. Facebook 3.0 now comes with the option to rotate the iPhone and use the app in landscape mode which is great and you can also zoom in and out on photos (finally!). The only downside to the landscape mode is that it’s actually rather annoying if your trying to use Facebook whilst lying in bed (something that I often do!) so it would be nice to see the option to turn this off in the next update.
Lost one of your friends phone numbers? Not a problem now! Facebook 3.0 lets you quickly view which of your friends has displayed their mobile phone numbers on their profiles and gives you the option to SMS or call them! It’s pretty nifty actually, once you’ve selected either SMS or call, the Facebook app closes momentarily and either begins to ring the person selected using the iPhone or you can begin to type the SMS. Obviously this feature is only available on the iPhone but it’s still cool, and once you’re finished Facebook reopens!
Facebook 3.0 gives you full control of your photos and albums which means you can now create and delete albums as well as deleting individual photos and tags. You can also upload videos straight to Facebook from your iPhone 3GS however you can’t view your friends uploaded videos which is a major downer but you can view videos your friends have posted from You Tube via the built-in browser.
The news feed section is a lot more like it’s desktop brother with more viewing options and the ‘What’s on your mind’ box at the top to input your status.
The biggest letdown for this new update would have to be the huge lack of push notifications. Even now the iPhone is set up to vibrate when someone chats to me whilst using the app but this IS NOT happening! Sort it out Facebook! It would be great to leave the app running in the background and to be alerted when someone chats to you or you receive a notification. At the moment the only way to be alerted without actually having the Facebook app running is to set up email alerts on your iPhone and even then, the iPhone’s email client only refreshes itself every 15 minutes which isn’t great! I’d love to see push notifications in the next update as I think this would be greatly appreciated by many many facers :)
All in all, this is a nice update to the Facebook app adding and improving many features which I think should have been included on the first release but hey ho, you can’t have everything can you! I think the developers were probably testing the waters to see how much of Facebook users actually needed on their phones, and the answer to that is? … WE NEED IT ALL! :)
Oh and one other little difference… The icon has changed on your home screen, how thrilling!