Friended for Facebook
This week I finally found what I consider the best Facebook app for iPad which offers the full functionality of Facebook optimised for the large resolution touch screen. Mark Zuckerburg may not consider the iPad to be mobile but many others do, I’ve watched many Facebook apps climb up the top 10 and promptly back down. Apps such as Friendly and Facely just appear to offer an upscaled mobile version which users could achieve by going to the mobile site on the iPad, I’d rather use the website in Safari.
If your interested in this app you of course know the capabilities of Facebook, live feed, statuses, links, photos, chat, notifications, messages and groups. All of these are included you can instantly post a status, link or photo and Friended will upload it. The app also offers a much better version of chat than the others which simply link to the extended website.
The user interface is the best part of this app as I said not just being an upscaled mobile version but showing you recent photos and friends alongside the live feed and chat. Notifications, messages, friend requests and search are all within reach in the top bar and show popovers so you never leave the main screen. A few minor issues is clicking a photo doesn’t immediately go full screen and this version doesn’t support places. I don’t personally use places I prefer foursquare but for those that need this functionality will have to wait for an update.
There really isn’t much else to say about this application, it does as it says and has a nice UI wrapped around Facebook. I think this app proves Zuckerburg wrong and hopefully Facebook can eventually recognise the iPad so we finally have an official version. Friended is available in two versions, free (ad-supported) and paid 59p/99c (no ads). My recommendation is to try the free version for a week as your default Facebook client then buy if you like it.
Bonus App – Final Hours of Portal 2
I couldn’t not mention this app but didn’t want to make it the main app-a-week as some may not be interested. Unless you’ve been living under a rock this week you will know that Portal 2 was released on Tuesday/Thursday depending on console. One of the most anticipated sequels this year however Valve didn’t get to this point easily, this is where this app steps in.
The Final Hours of Portal 2 follows Valve’s origins including most of the team as well as the creation of Portal 1 and 2 right up to the ‘Final Hour’ when they submitted it to Microsoft for approval. The styling of the app is just like a magazine, I believe it’s using the same template as other apps like Time and Project. There is a lot of interactivity including sound, panoramas, videos, internet polls and YouTube videos. It isn’t interactivity for the sake of it either like most other apps but it actually enhances the story and allows you an inside look at Valve including never before seen prototypes of games.
The entire story spread across 12 sections (3 to 4 hours reading and watching) is written by Geoff Keighley and really captures the Valve culture quoting occasional interviews over the past five years. My only slight issue with it is a small spoiler in one of the chapters that unless you at Chapter 5 of Portal 2 you will want to avoid. If you are a fan of Valve or Portal you really need this app and for the price of only £1.19/$1.99 its a bargain.