- Rich features
- “Favorites” setting helps manage friends
- Integrates with phone and email
- Vulnerable to crashes
- Photo albums can be slow to load
The official Facebook app for the iPhone (Facebook Inc, Free) is the most-downloaded social networking app on iTunes. There’s a good reason for it — the Facebook iPhone app is easy to use and closely replicates the real thing.
Facebook App Looks Much Like Facebook.com
The folks at Facebook did a terrific job translating their website into an iPhone app. The news feed looks almost exactly like it does on the website, and you can view or write comments easily. It’s also simple to “like” a friend’s status or click through to a profile. Friends’ photos are displayed on the news feed as you would expect, but they can be a little slow to load as you browse the album.
Beyond the news feed, you can do pretty much everything on the Facebook app that you would normally do on the website: Look up which friends are online and launch a chat; Take and add pictures to your profile or photo albums; Approve friend requests or search for new friends. The Facebook app integrates with the iPhone’s email and phone, so you can call or email a friend — as long as your friends have that information listed. The app will also automatically add Facebook profile pictures and contact information to your iPhone contacts if you enable syncing.
If you have a lot of Facebook friends, the favorites section makes managing your account much easier. Simply add your most-viewed friends or pages and a link to their profile will be added on the main page.
Facebook App Downsides
Unfortunately, it’s not all great for the Facebook app. For one, the app is vulnerable to crashes, especially when exiting a profile or page to go back to the main menu. The latest update went a long way in alleviating this problem, but you might still encounter a crash on occasion.
As mentioned earlier, photo albums can be a little slow to load, even over Wi-Fi. I haven’t detected any performance drops with 3G, but of course, EDGE will be slowest of the three.
The Bottom Line
I use the Facebook app almost more than any other app on my iPhone. It’s very well done and is a great complement to the Facebook website. Crashes used to be a big problem, but the developers have largely ironed out that kink. If you are encountering a lot of crashes, make sure you download the latest update.