Android users have been on a long, bumpy ride when it comes to Facebook apps. Our official Facebook app is still catching up to its iPhone competitor, and hopefully with update 1.6 our cries will no longer be in vain. Also with Bloo for Facebook passing, we seemed to be left out to dry when it came to Facebook. Some users tried to go back the official app, others utilized Tweetdeck for their social networking needs. Flow for Facebook was also a viable option, and with updates coming regularly users really started to like the app. Handmark, the developers of the popular Twitter app Tweetcaster purchased Flow and renamed it Friendcaster. Many enhancements were made and Friendcaster was born, not flawless but dependable.
Friendcaster has a very similar UI to our very own Facebook for Android, with the different icons for different features greeting you at the home page of the app. Everything but chat is there, from the news feed to messages. The app comes equipped with several eye-pleasing features such as traditional slide-out menus and a Twitter-for-Android-style pull to refresh. Instead of having notifications as a slide-up drawer, they are replaced by quick access to your favorite friend’s profiles. The news feed is pretty self-explanatory and works similar to Facebook for Android, although it has several features that are missing from it’s official friend.
Friendcaster is a pretty app, but it really hits home for me with its robust feature selection. You can customize the app to do a lot of different things, and notifications are really fantastic. Friendcaster has very very good push notifications for Facebook and they can work two different ways. One way is a periodic polling set at different time intervals. Unlike Facebook for Android, Friendcaster pulls everything from likes to comments and shows them as a popup notification. Of course, this is Android and some other operating system, so popup notifications can be turned off and your notification just shows up in the notification center *errr* notification bar. Another way to receive notifications is through the Gmail feature. This feature has you turn on Facebook notifications via email, and pulls those from your Gmail, deletes the email, and shows you a notification instead. This way the app isn’t hogging memory and just uses Gmail’s push notifications to deliver Facebook notifications. That alone is a reason to upgrade to Friendcaster Pro. The app also allows you to view your pages, remove comments and posts, and yes, like people’s comments. Hooray!
Friendcaster for Facebook is a fantastic Facebook app. It delivers notifications when I get them, and has several nice features such as release to refresh and the ability to like comments. The app is free in the Market, but if you grab the Pro version you get the Gmail notifications feature and the ads are removed. In my opinion, this is definitely worth the price. Friendcaster is a pretty and dependable Facebook app for Android, and that is why it is this week’s App of the Week.
about the writer: Elijah Ketchum is a 16 year old sophomore in High School in Cincinnati OH. His Android experience started with the Motorola Droid and his since upgraded to the HTC Thunderbolt. He enjoys everything about Android and convincing his iPhone fan boy classmates to switch. He recently convinced his father, a long term Blackberry user to switch to a Motorola Droid X. Like Elijah’s writing? Have questions? email firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @ElijahIsMe & @thedroidboy