Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Facebook App for Android

Finally after long time, a Facebook app for Android is in market. Since the benchmark app for Facebook on mobile devices seems to be one on iPhone, I thought let me compare how the current Android App stands up against iPhone App. Please note that I do not have a iPhone but a iPod Touch so my comparison is between those two.

Category
Android App
iPhone/iPod Touch
Main Screen
Six main icons, New Feed, Friends, Photos, Take Photo, Profile, Notifications
Nine main icons, News Feed, Friends, Photos, Profile, Inbox, Chat, Requests, Events, photos, Notes
News Feed
New Feed screens look very similar. iPhone has a + button to add comments while Android has long touch. iPhone also has a large Rolodex like menu which essentially maps to facebook menu where you can choose a filter for your feed.
Profile
Profile screen is almost identical in both the apps with tabs for wall, info and photos being on top on Android and on bottom in iPhone. Also relationship status on iPhone is better with the photo of the spouse being shown with the name while Android app just says that "Married". Android app also does not show the IM addresses while iPhone app shows them.
Photos is very similar with iPhone app having an additional album for Profile photos which Android app does not have.
Friends
Friends screen is very similar in both with Facebook app sorted on last name while android app sorted on first name. Also the first character selection on iPhone on the right hand side of screen is pretty useful to directly jump to a person whose name starts with a specific character.
Notifications
Screens are very similar but surprisingly Android app does not allow one to click on a name and go to his profile. Also number of notifications in Android app seems to be much less compared to what is there on iPhone. For example I could not find notifications related to people commenting on my status in Android app while these are there on iPhone client.
Photos
Very similar screens, similar functionality.
Events
Android does not this option at all
iPhone client allow you to have a look at events.
Inbox
Android does not this option at all
iPhone client shows the messages in the Inbox and lets you reply to them.
Chat
Android does not this option at all
You can chat with online friends.
Requests
Android does not this option at all
You can see pending requests and respond to them.
To sum it up, even though Android client is far improved compared to the last version, it still lags too much compared to iPhone client. Many features are really very important omissions. If I had any say in prioritizing these, I would put them in following order.
  1. Chat -- very important, many people are only available for chat on Facebook and can't get them on google talk
  2. Friend requests -- Very important option, since currently the best solution is to click on the email received and go to web browser and then accept/reject the request.
  3. Inbox/Event
  4. Catch up to other features that I have listed in the table above.

2 comments:

  1. So glad an official Facebook application is finally being made.Thanks I was searching and searching.

    Thanks
    Faris
    Android Blog

    ReplyDelete
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