My iPad is the first gadget I have owned that seems to constantly grow and change the more I use it. At least once a week I find a new use and grow ever more dependent on my magical little device. I still use my MacBook Pro for most of my writing and heavy computer use, but the iPad is my main media consumption and gaming device. As many of you know, IOS apps are fantastic with the added real estate, and many companies and websites are utilizing the UI and space. With all of the goodness, there is still one major player absent from the iPad app family…Facebook! Browsing the web on the iPad is superior to the iPhone so checking Facebook is not a major issue using Safari, but how is there no application? Having a native application can be a more enjoyable experience and Friendly-Facebook Browser is bringing Facebook to the iPad without using a browser. Lets take a look.
Friendly-Facebook Browser offers most of the functionality and features of the web version while adding an attractive and intuitive interface. When the app is opened, the Live Feed will instantly show. The feed can be toggled on and off, though I see no reason to not see the live feed. When browsing the app, tapping the home button at the very top will always bring this page back up. I love the fact that updates refresh automatically. Just about the entire screen is utilized and the app is optimized for the touch interface. It truly is a fun experience.
Browsing the application is quite easy. As you can see, at the top you will find Home, Profile, Friends and Inbox. The Profile tab brings up your own profile just like the web version. Wall posts are the default in the profile view, but you can also click on Info and Photos to see more. The Friends tab shows your entire friends list complete with profile pics and the Inbox obviously are your messages. To the right of this menu bar is another box which will show notifications. Anyone who has used the website will have no problem instantly browsing through the Facebook experience and will probably enjoy it even more.
One of my favorite features of the Friendly-Facebook Browser app is the ability to chat. If you look at the above screen shot you will see a white and green chat bubble in the lower right hand corner. Tap to open and chat with any online friends. Online friends will show up on the left and the chat conversations will show up in the middle of the screen. Some may not like the fact that the chats will take you from any other screens, but I like it. Toggling back and forth from the main page is simple and the chat bubbles change color showing when a new message has come in. I do wish there was an option to hear a sound, but that is definitely not a deal breaker. Joel gave me permission to use our quick chat to show the chat screen with the keyboard.
Friendly-Facebook Browser is my official preferred method of checking Facebook. The application includes all of the features I use on a regular basis and presents them in an attractive, intuitive, awesome package. One of the main reasons I like the app so much is how it presents Facebook in a super clean setting. The web interface is quite cluttered and filled with ads and extra information. Not only is Friendly one of the best ways to view Facebook, it is also on sale for $.99! The quality and design of the app make this a must have. You might hurry and pick it up while it is still on sale here in the app store.
What I like: Clean intuitive interface and Facebook chat on my iPad.
What could be improved: I would like to see push notifications and the option for sound when a chat message arrives.