Facebook. It seems you can’t go anywhere without somebody mentioning it and there’s good reason for that; it’s a useful service that helps keep us all connected to each other. Initially set up as a desktop service, smartphones have made it easier to use Facebook on the move, and the long list of Facebook apps available at Windows Phone Store show how popular it is. We’ve plucked out three of the top-rated Facebook apps to make your decision in picking an app simpler.
25,753 reviews with an average of 3 out of 5 stars
As far as apps are concerned, I always like to look at the official app first so I know what to expect from any other.
This Microsoft-made Facebook app sticks to the design language of the Windows Phone OS, as you’d expect. The different screens within the app are just noticeable at the edge of the each screen encouraging you to flick through the app in a horizontal fashion
The welcome page is the news feed of all your fiends and family, with the newest at the top, but this can be changed selecting the filter option in the settings at the bottom, or by tapping on the ‘news feed’ text at the top.
The banner at the top can either be the standard Facebook blue, or any one of your Facebook photos. You can change the banner photo at any point by selecting ‘change banner image’ in the settings at the bottom.
You’ll also find any friend requests, private messages or notifications in that banner section.
Whenever you want to post a status update, upload a photo or check in to a location, the tool bar sits at the bottom of the news feed section.
One of the most popular features of Facebook is sharing photos (new or from your gallery), and that’s why there’s a photo section on the next screen that gives you a quick glance at your friends latest photos – the last six are shown but can be expanded by tapping on the albums.
A nice little feature is that you can shake the phone to refresh the feeds. One quick shake will bring you new content from your friends.
The Live tile is sizeable to all three sizes, small, medium, or large, with the latter two providing details of your latest update and notifications.
12,501 reviews with an average of 4 out of 5 stars
This app is has a totally different layout to the one above. It has a totally vertical interface, as opposed to a horizontal one.
There’s a feeling that Facebook Pro simply condenses everything you might see on the desktop version of Facebook onto your phone. And what I mean by that is the information you might see on the right of the desktop version is now at the top of your news feed. For example, you’re shown a couple of people you may know, with the option to expand that further if you’d like.
Beneath that, it’s right down to business and you can browse through the latest news from all the people you care about. If you like an update, just hit the like button, or alternatively share the update or comment on it in exactly the same way.
The tool bar that remains at the bottom of the screen no matter where you’ve navigated to houses the home, refresh,notifications, and messagesicons, as well as the additional options of heading to the chat feature, the events list, the photo feed and to upload a photo. However, it’s only possible to upload an existing photo and not a new one directly from the camera.
In addition to this disappointment, if you want to post a status update, you’ll need to head right back up to the top of the app or press the home button to do so. It’d be nice if that top bar would be made sticky to follow you down the page. But it does the job; it’s only one more step in the process.
If you want to place the app on your Start screen there’s three Live tiles to choose from, in medium or large size.
There’s the simple Live tile that just shows you the app name, in traditional Facebook blue. Then there’s the Live tile with Friend’s profile pictures or the Live tile with an unread message count. These update from time-to-time to help you connect better with your friends.
Facebook Viewer is a nicely put together app; it sticks to the horizontal UI structure that Windows Phone is known for. When panning left and right, you’re presented with tiles with different functions. There’s the Feeds section, Upload tile, Events, Groups,Profile, Photo feed, Friends online, Search, and Settings. Everything you’d expect from Facebook.
The plus icon at the top of the page is where you’d need to tap if you wanted to add your own status.
Across the bottom of the app is where you’ll find any notifications, private messages or friend requests.
When you navigate deeper into the app by using one of those tiles, you’ll find that the rest of the app is almost identical to Facebook Pro above. There’s obviously a standard Facebook API that provides this information and it’s either packed in an entirely different way, or only slightly.
However, this is a great looking package, with the ability to upload photos directly from the camera.
In terms of Live tiles, the medium and small tile are used. To add a Live tile, long press on either the Feeds, New Status, Messages, or Notifications icons to pin them to the Start screen. They give you quick-access into what’s important to you.
If none of these Facebook apps take your fancy, the built-in Me tile also lets you post directly to Facebook.