Friday, August 28, 2009

Facebook 3.0 for iPhone/iPod Touch

Blog posts that get imported to Facebook get truncated. If you're viewing this in Facebook on your computer, click View Original Post or just go to omnigeno.blogspot.com.

Most of us who have iPhones or iPod touches also use the Facebook application for iPhone. Well, yesterday, the folks at Facebook released a totally retooled version of the iPhone app, bringing much more features and improved usability (in my opinion, anyway). I've only used it for about an hour so I'm not sure that I've found all the changes. But here is a list of the changes and feature additions that I've noticed.

Note: Delete the app and reinstall if it doesn't work for you after the update. Don't worry, it's still free.

-Layout of "home" page. There is now a "home" page similar to your "Home" screen on your iPhone/iPod touch. It allows quick access to your nine main features: News feed, Profile, Friends, Inbox, Chat, Requests, Events, Photos, and Notes.
-That's right, you can now read and write Notes from the iPhone app. Text is copyable in notes. You cannot, however, view pictures or comments in notes. Watch out for imported, truncated notes. Notes imported from an external blog, such as this one, get truncated, and unlike the desktop browser version of Facebook, there's no like to "Show Original Post" in the Facebook app.
-Can now view "fan" pages. Access them by touching "Friends" and then tapping the Pages tab at the bottom of the screen.
-Can now "like" things AND view existing likes. The previous version of the app was not designed to support either of these.
-There is now a separate button for adding comments and viewing existing comments, although you can still add a comment while viewing them.
-Friends' info pages now can list their friends, the friends they have in common with you, and the "fan" pages to which they're subscribed.
-For links/photos, you must now touch the link text or actual photo instead of just somewhere in the "box". This is kind of hard to explain - you have to see it to understand.
-Can now pinch-zoom photos like in every other iPhone app.
-Refined News Feed filter. Remember before there was this strange scrolling bar near the top of your news feed to filter it to show only certain entries? Now it's just an unobtrusive button that you press to bring up an iPhone-style menu. Neat.
-Can now add shortcuts to pages in main interface, sort of like the iPhone Home screen.
-All pages but Home now available in landscape mode.
-Typing *seems* less laggy (unconfirmed)
-Now has built in browser for unsupported pages such as Facebook apps (mafia wars, superpoke) or external sites. The option to view in normal Safari is there with the push of a button.

There's probably way more that I missed, but that's all I've got for now. Overall, a very nice update that brings it much closer to the functionality of the full desktop browser version of Facebook. Kudos to them.

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