I’m using an Android phone at the moment. I flit back and forth between Android and iOS quite a bit, because both offer varying experiences, and variety is the spice of life. But I’ve come to realise that there’s one facet of both operating systems’ daily use which is identical: the official Facebook app.
Facebook’s official app is not good. I’m not the first person to say this, but that doesn’t make it any less true. No matter, though: I’ve been trawling through the Google Play Store to find some Android alternatives. And some are brilliant.
This is a really solid, fully-featured Facebook clone, albeit with some minor drawbacks. On the plus side, you get the full gamut of options and some nice customisation through various themes and colour choices.
The biggest downsides are that the free version is ad-ridden, while adding comments to post can be hit-and-miss, even on the Pro version. Other than that, it’s a top option.
Get it now | Download Friendcaster
Flipster is a slightly lighter app than Friendcaster, although that makes it a bit smoother – the navigation is all done via swiping left and right through Holo-themed menus. Its greatest flaw is that if you want to reply to messages, you have to exit to the mobile version of Facebook’s website.
Also, on my phone it seems to need you to try to open the app twice before it actually launches. If you’ve got a heavily-stylised Android layout going on you’ll probably love it, though, as the range of colour themes fairly all-encompassing.
Get it now | Download Flipster
Fast aims to be exactly what it’s name suggests. And it succeeds: by stripping out some of the extraneous features, Fast manages to be extremely nimble. Of course, that comes at a price – namely a bit of design finesse.
Fast ain’t exactly pretty, but if you can get past that, you’ll find it’s speed at loading up more than makes up for it. Word of warning, though: it’s in beta, which is the developer’s way of apologising for the odd crash.
Get it now | Download Fast
Seesmic’s bread and butter is Twitter, but there’s support for Facebook accounts too. That’s handy, because it means you can quickly flick back and forth between accounts to make it your one-stop shop.
If I’m being critical, I’d suggest that Seesmic needs to have pull-down-to-refresh as the refresh button is in a fiddly place, but that’s its only failing other than the fact that the free version has ads at the bottom of the screen.
Get it now | Download Seesmic
In case you were wondering…
- Why Facebook’s app is so troublesome
Those are the best options I’ve found. The only problem? If you suffer from aesthetic OCD like me, you’ll want whichever app you choose to replace Facebook to have the official icon. No worries…
Download the LauncherPro Android launcher. It (like many other launchers) lets you swap out any app’s icon for one of your choosing. Namely, one of the old blue ‘F’ icons from below: