July 8, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
Android went without a strong Facebook app for some time, so who would have thought there would be two good native Android Facebook apps released within a matter of days? Last Friday, I reviewed Bloo and was impressed by the app and the the developer. Today, I came across Babbler, another Android app that works directly with the Facebook API instead of wrapping the mobile FB website.
Babbler comes in two forms: a paid app for $1.49 or an ad-supported version for free. It features a great user interface that is clean and easy-to-navigate through four tabs related to the Feed, Friends, Profile, and Inbox. The friend feed includes quiz results, status updates, comments, wall posts, links, and likes. Browsing the feed in the free version was frustratingly slow when I first started using the app, but it greatly improved the second time around. I suspect that the app caches data internally because the app is 508kb but Data adds an additional 716 kb. I’d love to see Babbler store data on the SD card if that proves to be the case.
The Friends tab lists all of a user’s FB friends with photo, most recent status update, and online status. Tapping a user then links to his/her wall, profile, albums, or photos. Unlike Bloo, Babble displays more profile information on activities, interests, music, movies, quotes, and more. Some of my friends users displayed all information, but contact, education, and about me for some friends is absent.
Babbler also does a great job of uploading photo and video. Users can upload content from the phone and then go about doing other things while it is uploaded in the background. The notification bar then alerts users when the process is complete. Babbler also displays photo albums but not with navigation buttons or zoom. Note: Tag information is listed as a feature, but I did not see it on the friends profiles I used to test this app.
After my first day of use, I must say that Babbler is a great Facebook app. I’m going to hold off on judgment and more direct comparisons to Bloo since both apps are so young, but I’m happy to have another great option for Facebook on Android.
- Background notifications for Facebook happenings
- See friend’s newsfeed and wall with comments
- Add comments to feed items or wall
- Upload photo and video
- Browse events, photo albums, and profiles