Developer: Facebook, Inc.
Price: free Download on the App Store
Hard as it might be to imagine anyone NOT using Facebook, if you’re still not sold on Facebook, let 2012 be the year you jump on board the social networking bandwagon. If you're on Facebook, but haven’t been using it because the only computer you’re ever chained to is the one at work, then by all means it’s time to check out the mobile version for iPhone. The mobile app has what many consider to be simpler and just as user-friendly features as the full site and still keeps you connected with friends, family and the strangers who care about you!
Downloading the Facebook app is quick, easy and free. It’s updated fairly regularly, not always for the best, but barring any major interface changes it’s easy to navigate and gives you a consolidated, in-a-nut-shell, no-nonsense version that fits in the palm of your hand. There’s access to your favorite Facebook apps like Words With Friends, chat and messaging, and the news feed can be sorted by most recent or highlighted stories. The newest version also includes access to your Facebook timeline (if you have one).
Whilst the occasional Facebook update tends to create a brief round of belligerent complaints (especially when someone can’t find their news feed or worse yet, their farm), this recent update makes virtually no changes to access with the exception of an active timeline. If you haven’t got a timeline yet, check it out here, but its essentially a photo montage tribute to life’s milestones (or your cat's daily life, depending) in the form of a clever little banner heading. As to the touted increase in speed and performance with this update…meh, maybe.
If by chance you’re new to mobile Facebook, then odds are you’re not addicted to social networking and you won’t even miss functions like updating your profile picture, which you apparently can’t do from the mobile version yet. You will also have to use the full site to personalize some of your privacy settings, but once you have an account set up, the mobile version is faster, simpler and keeps you no less connected. You can upload and share pictures with ease, as well as do a mobile check in and use the nearby function, but you’ll have to turn location services “on” within your phone’s settings menu.
For existing users of the mobile Facebook app, if you’ve been ignoring the recent update for fear it will change the entire appearance that you just got used to, don’t worry. This one is seamless and does offer improved speed and function. So encourage friends and family who aren’t using Facebook regularly to try out the mobile version and stay in touch this year.