July 3, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
Bloo – The Facebook Android app that you have been waiting for is here. No, Facebook and Android haven’t played nice since the T-Mobile G1 debuted last October, but the premier social networking website finally has a decent app in Bloo.
Androinica first reported on Bloo last month and said we thought it might be the first Facebook Android app to get things right. The verdict: you better believe it does. Bloo is a fully-featured Facebook client that makes it easy to read and comment on statuses, check friend feeds, read or write on walls, send messages, get notifications and perform many of the other tasks that make Facebook one of the most popular websites on the Internet.
Bloo, which costs $1.49 in the Android Market, is what Facebook on Android should have been from the beginning. Using “The Feed” gathers all of the status updates, links, photos, and comments that appear in your friend’s list. Tapping once on feed content allows users to comment, and long pressing can “like” that content or visit a friend’s profile.
PROFILES & PHOTOS
Facebook profiles are handled fairly well in portrait view; landscape has a few formatting issues that cause content not to display correctly. However, Bloo quickly loads a user’s wall posts and their basic information. It would be nice to have the option of displaying full profile info – including hobbies, favorite movies, etc. – but that is not crucial to the Facebook on the go experience. Besides, doing so might affect the speed of Bloo. Oh, wait, did I not mention that Bloo is fast? I have used it on Wi-Fi and 3G, and the app loads content quickly on each connection type. The speed and refresh rate are much better than what I have previously experienced in other apps.
Photos and Facebook go hand-in-hand, so you’ll be happy to know that Bloo is exceptional at loading images. The “Photos” section allows users to browse through their uploaded Facebook galleries, so you can always have those questionable party photos on-hand. Why you would want to I’ll never know, but people like options. Looking at a friend’s recently-uploaded photos is also strong as Bloo quickly loads images, shows captions, displays or adds tags, zooms on double-taps, and can save images. The only things missing are easy-to-navigate buttons to move from one photo to the next.
Bloo is a legit Facebook application. It has a few small issues to address, but also has a committed developer ready to improve it. This app directly addresses many of the criticisms leveled against Facebook Mobile’s limited website and the underwhelming Android apps that predate it. Simply put: Bloo is the Facebook Android app that you’ve always wanted.
App: Bloo (version 1.0)
UPDATED:This review originally stated that there were force close errors when posting to someone’s wall. The problem has been addressed, so the critical statements were removed.