April 6, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
I’m not a fan of the official Facebook Android app. I hinted at that in my review of the third party client Fast Facebook, and I have a feeling I’m not alone in that regard. If you’re someone on the fence about the official app needing a complete overhaul, there’s a good chance that the latest version of Friendcaster for Facebook will push you over the edge.
Friendcaster 5.0 does what Facebook users have wanted the official app to do: institute a new good-looking UI without making the app painfully slow in the process. The new interface is ICS-inspired with flat icons and navigation buttons, and can even apply any of six themes. The app launches to the 11 popular features accessible to Friendcaster: News Feed, Profile, Friends, Photos, Checkins, Messages, Notifications, Groups, Events, Chat, and Pages.
All these features mean nothing unless the app runs quickly and smoothly, and Friendcaster moves very quickly. The News Feed loads in fewer than 5 seconds, and users can infinitely scroll to bring up more status updates. Swiping left or right will then apply filters to the feed, bringing up only photos, links, or your Facebook lists. Members can then like a post, add a comment, hide it from the feed, or share it with others.
The improvements to Friendcaster go beyond the visual of the feed. In addition to adding a new check-in and status update interface, the app also adds:
1. Real-time notifications available for all
2. Higher resolution photos in your news feed
3. Ability to tag more than one Friend at the time in a Post
4. Memory improvements all-around.
5. Quick access to post status update or photos/video
6. Major Android design improvements
7. Lots of little things all over the place
If you want almost all the features of Facebook without the slow loading times, grab this app now.