You may remember a few days ago we told you that Facebook for BlackBerry 2.0 was available to download via the BlackBerry Beta Zone, well now that we have had a chance to install it we thought we would share our thoughts with you to tell you just how good or bad this app really is.
Let’s get straight to the point, the new Facebook for BlackBerry application is great and a huge improvement when compared to previous versions, it is faster, smoother and more intuitive than the previous versions, not only this but it is packed full of new features.
Once installed the first thing you will notice is a shiny new icon, click on this and you get to see the new and improved login screen, once logged in you see that the Facebook app’s user interface has been overhauled massively, it has to be said that the new look at first glance looks to simple to be affective, however after a few minutes of usage it is definitely much better.
The app’s home screen is split into two main elements, firstly you have the news feed which you can scroll up and down on, secondly there two buttons to click at the top, one of which bring up a drop-down navigation bar, here you can click on News Feed, Profile, Notifications, Search, Messages, Friends, Chat, Places, Photos and Options. The other button lets you see friend requests, notifications and messages and chats (see below).
There are some tiny notification icons which show when you get a new message, notification, friend request or if someone chats to you, below we have embedded a blurry photo of the notifications, as you can see the notifications aren’t great (due to their size) but better than nothing.
As you may have noticed this new app has built-in Facebook Chat functionality, it does not sign you into chat by default (which is nice), once in you get to see a list of who is online and if there are a lot of friends online you can start typing their name to find them easier. The Facebook Chat functionality is better than any third-party Facebook Chat app I have ever installed on my BlackBerry.
Another neat feature allows you to see mutual friends, before this you were unable to see friend in common when you got a friend request, this is a minor change, but useful none-the-less.
All in all it has to be said that Facebook for BlackBerry 2.0 brings the app to the level of iPhone and Android equivalents, so far I have experienced no problems running the app on my Bold 9700 which runs OS 6.0, the new UI is much better and the transparent effect on the drop-down menu is nice, also Facebook Places seems much faster than before and photo uploading is quicker and easier than ever. Also when browsing Facebook there is a new system for liking and commenting on things, simple click on the “+” sign and away you go, also if you hold down the select button (trackpad on the Bold) you get lots of different options depending what you have selected.
Hopefully Facebook 2.0 for BlackBerry smartphones will go public soon, when it does we will be sure to keep you posted.