Recently I’ve been using Facebook more and more for my social networking needs. Until now however, there’s really not been a decent Facebook app in the Google Android Market. I had previously been using Facebook Lite which acts more like a wrapper for Facebook than a native Google Android application. Facebook Lite is bulky and runs really slow on my T-Mobile G1. Moreover you can’t access the majority of Facebook’s features using Facebook Lite. Thankfully however, I recently stumbled upon a much better mobile application for Facebook last week called Babbler.
Babbler’s Feature List
Babbler is a full blown Facebook application that runs on Google Android. With Babbler I can now access pretty much everything on Facebook except for Facebook chat. What I really love about the application is that it’s seamlessly integrated with my mobile browser. Thus when I click on a link in Babbler it launches the G1′s browser to load Facebook without requiring me to login again. Here’s a list of some of the other features Babbler offers:
- View your Facebook news feed
- Access and write on your friends’ walls
- Create status updates
- Access events
- View friends’ photos
- Setting notifications
- Upload photos and videos
- Sharing links, photos, videos
- Commenting on wall posts
- Ability to like wall posts
- Link your Twitter account
- Switch users
- Voice based status updates
Babbler for Android comes in two versions; a free version (Babbler Lite for Facebook) and a premium version. Babbler Lite for Facebook is ad-supported via revenue generated from Ad Mob based adverts which really aren’t that noticeable. The paid version of Babbler (Babbler for Facebook) includes a home screen widget and eliminates the advertisements. The home screen widget operates much like the G1′s Google Calendar widget displaying notifications on your Android phone that are derived from the Babbler application itself. The Babbler widget currently displays your Facebook news feed from your friends. Clicking on the arrow buttons on each end permits you to scroll through your news feed and see your friends’ latest content that’s added to their profile.
Screenshots Of Babbler For Facebook
A Few Issues I’ve Discovered While Using Babbler
1. Can’t comment on news feed items – I kept getting the “Connection error. Please try again.” message when attempting to do so. I quickly discovered that turning on the Wi-Fi connection on my G1 fixed this. If I’m not near a Wi-Fi connection, I’d still like this feature to work though.
2. Two “Babbler” applications – There’s no way to identify which version of Babbler you’re using. I installed the pro version when I already had Babbler Lite for Facebook installed and when I went to uninstall it, I saw two “Babbler” applications. I uninstalled the wrong version first (larger file was the “Lite” version of Babbler).
3. Cannot view albums, photos, videos – Turning on the Wi-Fi connection on my G1 fixed this too. Prior to that, I kept getting the following error when trying to view photo albums and photos: “Sorry! The application Babbler has stopped unexpectedly. Please try again. [Force close]“. It would be nice if this feature would work without Wi-Fi too.
4. No Facebook chat – I’d really love to see Babbler integrate Facebook chat. I know this maybe a difficult undertaking to complete but adding Facebook chat to the pro version would most likely act as a great incentive for customers to upgrade to the paid version of Babbler. However, until Facebook provides the ability for developers to integrate it, we’ll have to wait.
Overall, Babbler’s the best Google Android app for Facebook that’s currently available. Occasionally I’ll receive an error that forces me to close Babbler but for the most part it works great and a simple relaunch usually solves the problem. It’s still a fairly new Android application so a few bugs are to be expected. The developers are usually quick to address problems and they regularly release updates to repair such issues.
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