Android Finally Gets Facebook Places

 

No, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg didn’t announce a Facebook Phone this morning, but he did let us all know that the Facebook Places feature has come to the app for Android. The updated Facebook client (version 1.4.0) is available from the Android Market right now actually. While you’re downloading it, I’ve got the rundown on what else is new here.

First things first, sorry Android users but iOS users already have had all of these features (except groups) for as long as I can remember. Seriously. You would think that Facebook would try to be more update friendly towards the quickly growing Android crowd, but iOS is still the darling of developers for some reason. So what is in this Facebook app update?

Places

The newish Places feature in Facebook now supports Android. That’s right. You can tag yourself in a location using your smartphone’s GPS. Friends can be tagged too as long as they have their privacy settings set as such. Places isn’t that big a deal right now, but the potential for it is certainly there.

Also, Facebook is opening up the nuts and bolts behind Places to developers and businesses to advertise. Yes, now you will be spammed not only by advertisements that promise to get you onto an FBI SWAT team with as little as three weeks of night classes, but that pizza shop across the street from you can harass you with coupons and promotions.

Notifications

Not much here except that now you can finally view comments and updates from within the Facebook app. Still no tagging pictures while uploading them though…

Groups

Facebook’s new Groups feature lets you create and join groups of friends. You can then decide to send messages, posts, etc. only to members of groups. This has a lot of applications like private groups of just friends you want to discuss something with. Unfortunately, it looks like the feature is not working right on some Android phones right now. Let me know if you can access it from your phone in the comments.

So we didn’t get a Facebook Phone. Not a big deal, even though it would have been interesting to see what the company would have designed. It is good to see though that Facebook is serious about updating its Facebook apps for smartphones. That should be the company’s focus right now, because anyone who uses Facebook on a smartphone can tell you how much the app needs improvement, regardless of platform.

Facebook 1.4.0 finish downloading and installing on your Android phone yet? Go try it out and let me know what you think!

Tags: , , ,