Whether you're a Facebook addict or just a casual browser of the popular social network, chances are you're probably browsing the social network on your iDevice. Join us as we take a look at Facebook apps, both official and third-party, in this AppGuide.
Since Facebook finally did make their official app universal, I would suggest trying this one first. I think it's quite elegant with its gesture navigation and easy Apple-like photo viewing. Find out where your friends are on the Nearby map; or chat them up with the slick chat feature. It is free, and it does feel the "Facebookiest", so I'd suggest giving it a shot. It isn't perfect, and doesn't have ALL of the features of the website (though I expect frequent updates and added features, if history is any indication), but it's quite nice. If you don't love it, there are plenty of other options, so read on.
Friendly+ for Facebook with AdBlock
Friendly Plus is one of the best Facebook apps for the iPad. You can customize the look with different color themes. A pin code can be used to lock down your Facebook account. Chat support is included, which is something that cannot be done in Safari. You can also upload photos and switch between different Facebook accounts. The interface is fantastic in both landscape and portrait modes. Friendly Plus is a great way to access Facebook on your iPad. There is also an ad-supported free version; see the link below.
MyPad+ - for Facebook, Instagram & Twitter
If you’re a Twitter user, MyPad+ is going to look instantly familiar. It definitely has the same look and feel as Twitter’s official app. And yet -- it’s Facebook. On the left you get easy access to your News Feed, Friends, Messages, Photos, Events, Groups, Search, Notifications, and Chat. This app supports multiple profiles. This style isn’t going to be for everyone, but if you like that swipe-based navigation and quick access to Facebook’s features, you’re going to love MyPad+. Check out their free, ad-supported version (see link below) if you'd prefer.
Friended for Facebook
Friended is an alternative to the Essential apps. Friended is different; it customizes the look of Facebook in a really nice way. Friended feels like a highly optimized webpage, whereas most of the apps feel more app-like. Both ideas are great and we are glad there are options. Here, the feature set is more limited. You are able to view news feeds, make comments/likes, view photo galleries, receive notifications, messages, chat with friends, view groups, and access profiles. We would love for them to add photo uploading and other capabilities. Friended is a nice app, but has some work until it truly competes with our Essential choices.
Facely HD for Facebook + Social Apps Browser
Facely HD feels like it tries to mimic Friendly. The interface and design feel the same. You are able to browse both the live and news feed, comment on posts, update your status, chat with friends, upload photos, and much more. The developers offer tons of customization options which surpass Friendly’s ability. Facely HD is nice app that is similar to Friendly but at three times the price.
FriendCaster for Facebook
This is another free option worth checking out. There is a banner ad at the bottom, but if you “Click to Share”, you post a Facebook status that is an ad for FriendCaster, and then YOU don’t have any more ads in the app. A little ironic, no? I don’t like sales tactics like that, but if you can look past that nonsense -- I suppose everyone needs to make a buck -- it’s actually a pretty good app. It’s uncluttered with a simple UI. Your photos are in the left column in landscape view. In portrait view, you just have the news feed. This app lacks Chat, but it is promised in a future update. What makes this app stand out is the Steam mode. You can choose a custom background and watch your news feed stream live, all day if you like. For Facebook addicts, well, this just makes Facebook all the more addictive. For me, the major thing missing is Messages -- it’s a vital Facebook feature that I sincerely hope they will add.
Ultimate for Facebook HD
Ultimate for Facebook HD is the one Facebook app we did not like. The interface and design of the app feel very rudimentary. There are enough features to satisfy most users, but the design kills the app. The price of $3.99 is another reason not to pick this app up. The competitors are much better apps, and lower in price too. We would recommend giving Ultimate a pass until they update the interface and design of the app.
Pica for Facebook
This app simply would not load. I sent a support request to the developer and got an auto-reply stating that “Facebook has recently flipped a switch that makes our app not working”. So, take that as you will. It looks like a neat app from the description, with themes for customizing your Facebook experience, but until they fix their app to accommodate Facebook’s “switch flip”, I can’t give it much of a review.
Hello. App for Facebook
This app crashed a number of times before I could finally get it to work. Once I did, it was a decent app. It has most of the Facebook features you’d expect, except for Chat. A nice feature that makes it stand out is that when you select a photo to see it larger, it doesn’t navigate away from the page. Simply tap on it, see it bigger, then tap off of it to return to where you were. The UI isn’t the prettiest I’ve seen, but “Themes” are promised to be coming soon.