Facebook already has a great deal of integration into several aspects of the Windows Phone 7 platform, but where there is an internet connection and a compatible app, there is a Facebook app. The icon is a pretty generic Facebook logo so nothing nasty there and it slots right in to the start screen.
Upon loading the application you’re immediately faced with a new menu listing links to your news feed, photos, inbox, events, friends, profile, requests, notes or a logout button.
The first criticism I would have of this, is it would be nice for some sort of notifications for each section so you know where attention is needed. However, that is lacking so you have to navigate through the app to find out whats going on. A simple swipe to the left will take you to your notifications menu, though, so you can keep up with statuses or likes etc. as you would on the normal site.
Lets start with going left to right though as you would in every day life in the western world, so the first swipe to the right takes you to your top news where you find a list of statuses supposedly relevant to you. All pretty traditional with Facebook and so you take another swipe to the right once you’ve finished browsing up and down.
Here you will find photos, which are laid out in a 2×2 grid with the bottom-right most quadrant being divided into a further 2×2 grid of other, less important, photos. The next swipe will take you to events, basically listing parties and birthdays, and then you face the final swipe back to notifications before you go back to the main menu. All pretty comprehensive.
But what else can you do? Because there needs to be something else as so far the only functionality added on top of whats already integrated into the people hub or the pictures hub is the list of birthdays. Not particularly enticing.
Well, something interesting and at the very least novel, is the shake to refresh functionality, which simply allows you to shake your phone and instantly refresh your news feed. Cool. From the settings menu you can also change the frequency of automatic updates, but that about sums it up.
In terms of how it looks you’ll find a mostly white background with a Facebook-blue header and traditional logo in the upper-left corner. Nothing exciting here either as it’s pretty much as you would expect.
Going into someone’s profile is pretty ordinary as well, with swiping predictably necessary here as well to take you from the subject’s wall, through their info and onto their photo albums before finally hitting photos they’re tagged in and pages they have liked and groups they have joined.
All in all, a comprehensive app, but apart from that there is not a lot to report. There is nothing dazzlingly exciting, but what would you expect? It simply brings what is available on the site (apart from games) into an easy to navigate layout designed specifically for Windows Phone 7.
The Facebook for Windows Phone 7 app exceeds what is available in what is integrated into the OS itself well and allows all necessary functionality such as posting statuses, wall posts and uploading photos etc. There are no fatal flaws considering it is an unofficial app from a third-party.
For fear of blabbing on about nothing important, I’ll just sum up: If you have Windows Phone 7 and use Facebook for anything more than simply posting a quick status, you will want to get this app. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we see updates incorporating newer functionality such as Places and the recently announced Facebook messaging system.