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Quick Review: Facebook for iOS 4.1

19 December 2011, Software Publisher

The iOS Facebook app has been something of a staple installation for iPad and iPhone owners. The app has undergone various developments over the years, including finally getting a dedicated iPad app. As the Facebook web site has evolved, so the app has changed to reflect new features and now, as the app hits version 4.1, it seems to have come of age. The most recent addition to the Facebook web site is the new timeline component and this is just one of the latest features of Facebook for iOS 4.1.

Strangely, at time of writing, the timeline feature is not yet supported on iPad, but it is something that iPod and iPhone users can already take advantage of. If you have already activated your own timeline, you will need to use version 4.1 of the app in order to see it and the timelines of other people who have activated it – you can pay a visit to http://www.facebook.com/about/timeline to get your timeline in place before the fullscale rollout.

For some time, the Facebook app has been significantly more usable than the mobile version of the social networking web site, and this has done nothing but improve over the years. Development has been such that using the iOS app no longer feels like you are missing out on any of Facebook’s features, and in many respects it is actually more enjoyable to use than the standard web site.

Speed of operation is important for any mobile app and this is something that has been gradually improved. Not only in terms of raw performance, but the way in which the interface is laid out means that is now faster than ever to navigate the site and perform common tasks such as commenting on other people’s content, uploading images and checking in to locations.

Navigation bar

Facebook's navigation bar makes it easy to get around the social network

The slide out left hand navigation pane is one of the greatest changes that has been made to the app. From here is possible to access every aspect of your Facebook profile, from your timeline and messages, friends list and groups, and much more. Perhaps most importantly, it is possible to adds links to favorite sections of Facebook so you can jump to them quickly and easily – as well as saving space by cutting out those that you do not use very often.

The ability to make use of lists is a great way to manage a large friend list, and support for apps means that working with a Facebook app need not mean missing out on the things you make use of on the main web site. The search feature makes it easy to track down individual friends and the way the navigation bar works means that it is possible to break away from reading status updates and other news to upload an image or do something else with your account without losing where you got to.

This is one app that has long been described as essential and frequently tops the charts for popularity. In the past this has been as much because the app was pretty much the only specially designed way to access Facebook from your mobile, but now it is this coupled with the fact that it is also a well-developed app that finally provides an enjoyable experience.

You can grab yourself a free copy of the app by paying a visit to the Facebook for iOS page.

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