Facebook For Android… NOT?

We’ve been waiting for this moment quite awhile – Facebook for Android has launched on Android Market!

At the end of July it seemed like Facebook for Android would launch any day… and that anyday is TODAY (or is it?) – here is the description from Android Market:

Facebook for Android makes it easy to stay connected with friends. You can share status updates from your home screen, check out your news feed, look at your friends’ walls and user info. Share photos from your phone and can even look up to 125 friends’ phone numbers from the home screen.

Some screenshots:

Here is the message you get when you first agree to the terms of service and log in:

Thank you for installing Facebook for Android. To get the most from Facebook on your phone:

  • Place the Facebook widget and Facebook Phonebook Live Folder on your home screen
  • Press MENU for more features
  • Touch and hold items to open a menu of shortcuts
  • Upload and share from the Camera, Gallery and Browser
  • Customize a ringtone for Facebook notifications
  • Shake the phone to refresh feeds

These tips can be found in the application settings.

The display is very clean and straightforward and the sharing options are quite nice. Initial reviewers were incredibly quick to jump on Facebook for not providing a fully featured app, for example this review from Matthew Wong:

Needs support for Inbox, Friends (With filters for on and off line friends), Facebook chat. Once added this will be an extremely power and useful app.

I’d agree that lack of Inbox, Friends and Chat is a let down but on the positive side – now Facebook for Android has room to grow! Better to have it now with limited features and gradual improvements then continue waiting, and waiting, and waiting for a completely final and finished product – right?

I’m really liking what I see so far and the widget an Live Folder are going to be AWESOME. What are you waiting for? Head to the Android Market, download Facebook for Android and LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK.

BUT WAIT. In the Android Market the “Developer” of the application is listed as Facebook… sounds official, right? Then why is the Email contact Facebook.Android@gmail.com? And furthermore, why does the app description on Facebook.com say it wasn’t developed by Facebook?

facebook-app

There are two possibilities:

  1. This is a 3rd party developer wiggling their way into some attention by trying to “pose” as an Official App but trying to cover their butts with that comment. I hope Android Market wouldn’t have allowed them to use “Facebook” as the developer name!
  2. It says not developed by Facebook because it was actually developed by a Google employee with Facebook’s consent… as initially rumored.

Which one is it? This story is going to get interesting – we’ll keep you updated on this exact post so check back!

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

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  • Justin2

    The widget is pretty slick, as is the Facebook Phonebook. Didn’t even know I could obtain my FB Friends’ phone numbers that way.

  • Zapote21

    Stirring up trouble? LOL If you click on the “About” button, it says (c) Facebook 2009

    It also says, Android software development consulting provided by Multiple Facets Inc…

    We all knew that Facebook was NOT going to be the author… But I believe that it is still the official app…

  • *d.*

    welly welly well
    since facebook sucks fat ‘phant balls
    who gives a rat’s testicle?

  • woodenpirate

    The shake to refresh hting is pretty cool.

  • pjv

    “And furthermore, why does the app description on Facebook.com say it wasn’t developed by Facebook?”

    Rob, you are confusing android-apps and facebook-apps. You are watching a facebook-app page here on facebook (not sure where though). Every facebook-app on facebook has “was not developed by Facebook” in its description. This is a security measure so people would clearly discern facebook from its facebook-apps and not be tricked into giving private info.

  • Maj

    just downloaded it, it’s not bad but not as good as i was expecting it to be but anyway as Rob said it’s better than nothing

  • Ben W.

    just got it. i like it a lot. i was using FBook, which i had archived on my phone before it disappeared. This slays that, with the widget, pic upload, and live folder. I believe it it official and actually like it a lot.

  • Quentyn K

    Wait, so Multiple Facets consulted on this? Ugh. I’m sorry, I just can no longer support those devs after they’ve abandoned paying I Tweet customers the way they have.

  • NPS_CA

    RE: Not developed by Facebook…

    Umm; ALL the mobile apps show this (Blackberry, Palm Pre, EVEN the earlier iPhone ones)… I don’t see that as an issue.

  • Martin

    pjv is right, Rob ;)

    And the e-mail address doesn’t really say anything, does it?

  • NPS_CA

    See here:

    ALL these are Mobile Facebook apps; ALL show not developed by Facebook
    Palm: http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=7081486362

    Blackberry: http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=2254487659

    etc

  • Zapote21

    From mashable.com:

    Don’t be misled by the Fan Page – this app was developed by the Facebook team, as first reported by VentureBeat

  • Luis

    Well wasnt the facebook app developed by an Android engenieer? Wouldnt that explain why they say it wasn’t developed by facebook?

  • Matthew

    This really needs to catch up with the paid facebook apps.

    I hope we can view photos, share links etc with the next release. I will just keep praying haha

  • Julius

    No other app shows comments in status updates without explicitly requiring authorization from the user. Ever used babbler? It NEEDS you to authorize (from facebook in a webbrowser) to do a bunch of stuff. And other facebook apps won’t do more than what can be done using Facebook mobile website.

    So if this thing is (almost) fully featured and doesnt require authorizations, I’d say it’s got at least some support from facebook.

  • Ike

    Go here: http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=2254487659#/apps/application.php?id=2254487659&v=wall&viewas=505326517
    …and you will see that it says the same thing about it not being developed by Facebook for the Blackberry.
    It is just that the app has been made by Google or Blackberry, with Facebook’s help.

  • Mark G

    its a start but it needs alot more work

  • Carlos

    I still believe that Babbler is by far better and it also has the nice widget
    Hopefully updates are coming soon. So far I am sticking to my paid version of Babbler

  • hypertoad

    if you look at the discussion board for the app ( http://www.facebook.com/board.php?uid=74769995908 ) it looks like a facebook employee started both the topics

  • http://twitter.com/theinfamousazad zlander

    pretty cool…also big news is pandora for android finally hit too

  • http://www.sadif.co.uk Sadif

    http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=2254487659#/apps/application.php?id=2254487659&v=wall&viewas=0

    look at the facebook for blackberry page, it aslo says NOT developed by facebook…

  • Jer

    I’m surprised to be the first to comment with mentioning Bloo, the first native Facebook app for Android. Is it because it’s a paid app ($1.49)? The widget option is very cool on this one, but a couple of the things it lacks that some mentioned would be good are things that only Facebook has control with releasing the needed code to the developers. I (and many others) have been using Bloo since it’s release and the developer has done great with updating it to release new features fairly regularly.

  • X3HaloEd

    QR Code?

  • Jer

    I downloaded this and played around with it a bit. It’s definitely much better than the other FB free apps out there that I’ve seen, but still lacks a bit in comparison to Bloo. Much of it looks very similar to Bloo, as if it’s taking from it for ideas, but that may just be the standard layouts like other OS FB apps (I haven’t seen any for Blackberry or iPhone). The biggest annoyance was seeing picture thumbnails in the app, but selecting them opening FB mobile in a browser. Bloo handles pictures and comments/likes much better and loads much quicker. It’s on the right track, but for now I’ll keep on with Bloo as it’s also being updated fairly regularly.

  • love69walrus

    More evidence that the recently published Facebook app ISN’T actually official: http://www.facebook.com/mobile/ Can anyone spot the missing operating system in the list????

    BAD FACEBOOK! :o(

  • Steve

    check the above link to the mobile facebook page, android has now been added to the list :-)