Facebook is the de facto social network to connect with the rest of the World. Thanks to its official app for Android, you can do virtually everything you can in the web version, from anywhere you go.
Connect with your world
Facebook for Android allows you to: update your status, share links and photos, write private messages (through Facebook Messenger), comment on friends' updates, 'Like' pages and comments, and configure your profile from your mobile.
The chat feature in Facebook for Android allows you to record voice messages and send them to your friends. It supports 'Chat heads', which are shortcut icons that appear over the top of Facebook, offering you a shortcut to a conversation.
If you're an administrator of a Facebook page you can install the Facebook Pages Manager app. With this app installed, when you access a page that you control, the app will open automatically and you can manage the page.
Facebook integrates nicely within the Android operating system. The notification system is flawless, and it's very comfortable to share links to Facebook through any app on your device.
In terms of the Facebook for Android interface, the app shows your news feed when you start up. You can then simply swipe to navigate through the different sections of Facebook, such as friend requests, messages, and notifications. The final menu on toolbar gives you access to other Facebook features such as Events, Photos, Notes, Feeds, and Groups.
There are shortcut buttons in Facebook for Android for adding a status update, posting a photo, and checking in to a place. A search button allows you to very quickly look for something anywhere on Facebook.
If you want to access the Facebook chat feature, hit the button that appears in the top-right corner of the app. A sidebar will slide out, showing you which of your contacts are online, and allowing you to open a chat window with a single tap on their name.
Of course, not everyone will be happy with the way Facebook works on Android. For starters, posts in the news feed don't appear in the order they were added, which can get frustrating if you want to see what you're friends are doing now, rather than seeing just 'top stories' first. To access the 'Most Recent' feature, you need to navigate to it through the menu on the right of the screen.
Android tablet users may be disappointed too, since the Facebook app isn't optimized well for large-screen devices. It would be nice if Facebook developed a layout more like the iPad version of the app, where the space is much easier to get around, and elements are beefed up so the design doesn't look so barren. If you're using a tablet to view Facebook, I'd recommend Friendcaster which has a much friendlier design.
Officially speaking it's OK
Although it's not perfect, the official Facebook app has the benefit of being constantly updated with the latest Facebook features and services. It makes it easy to stay in touch with your friends, and that's a good thing, surely.
What's new in the latest version of Facebook for Android?
The latest update to the Facebook app brings with it the power to control what you see on your news feed. Within the new news feed settings menu you can view the people, pages. and groups that you've seen the most activity from in your news feed. If these people are starting to get on your nerves you can simply unfollow them so their posts won't show up in your feed. Don't worry, it's easy to see who you've already unfollowed and start re-following them again.
Another new option within the news feed is the ability to tap on the down arrow in a post to remove a post from your timeline or directly unfollow a person.