Okay, I admit it. I love Facebook. One thing that helps make it great is the fact that Facebook provides programmers with an interface to let them write their own interface applications. And the Facebook folks have even written a few interfaces other than just the standard browser interface. So here are all the ways I use Facebook:
- Firefox web browser on the Mac
- Opera Mini web browser on the Blackberry
- Facebook for Blackberry application
- Safari web browser on the iPod Touch, iPhone version
- Safari web browser on the iPod Touch, mobile version
- Safari web browser on the iPod Touch, full version
- Facebook for Chumby
Now, there are a TON more Facebook clients out there for different platforms. These are just the ones I use. And I'm glad I can use Facebook on different devices, but note that I use it on my iPod three different ways and on my Blackberry two different ways. Why? Because all five clients are basically broken in some way. The only one that doesn't seem to be is the full web version on Safari, but even that is hard to use thanks to the tiny screen. All the others are broken in some way...they won't let you comment on statuses, or see status comments at all, or let you click links posted in statuses, etc. Same goes for the Chumby client (which is really just my alarm clock, but it's cool to be able to see status updates by the bed...okay, it's not cool, it's a wee bit obsessive).
Part of this is because of mobile device limitations, but most of it is just the application developers are doing a poor job of keeping up with the new features the Facebook folks are adding. The Blackberry folks author the Blackberry specific application, and it hasn't been updated in many months, for example.
So if you try to use Facebook on another device and find features missing, it's probably not you. For now, anyway, sometimes you just have to go to the computer and use the full version.
Funny, I can do many of those things on my Blackberry, but what I can't do is see prior status updates.
For instance, if someone comments on your status, but it's not your most current status, you can't see the old status they are talking about.
I can see comments about current statuses for friends, it's just not easy.
Sigh. You should be in charge.
The API that Facebook exposes to these devices is quite limited, and is the primary reason why the complete interaction available on the website isn't available on these other devices.
Until Facebook opens up their system entirely to alternative device developers, they will continue to seem "broken".
Some are still more broken than others, though, which means many apps just aren't fully implemented.
You could say I'm really in the dark ages since I only update on my actual computer. Someday I'll join the blackberry or iphone crowd. Maybe not though.
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