RIM Revamps Facebook BlackBerry App, Includes Facebook Chat

Research In Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, has made available its new Facebook application for BlackBerry devices, available now in beta to a limited number of people through BlackBerry Beta Zone.

The revamped application features a more intuitive user interface that is more consistent with the BlackBerry experience. For example, other system notifications outside of the Facebook app, like new e-mails or BBM notifications, now appear unobtrusively at the top of the system bar.

 The most significant feature in the app is Facebook chat support, a feature that has been missing for the BlackBerry until now.

Other mobile platforms, including Apple’s iOS have long included support for Facebook chat directly from the native application.

One disadvantage of the Facebook app for the iPhone is that you must stay within the chat window; otherwise you are automatically signed out, therefore, you can’t multitask and remain signed into chat. On Facebook for BlackBerry, this limitation is not present, and you are conveniently always signed in (unless of course you sign out).

One workaround to that limitation is to use the free multi-client instant messaging application, Meebo (for either iOS, Android, or BlackBerry), which supports push notifications for Facebook chat. Another convenient feature of Meebo is that it synchronizes your conversations when signed into different locations.

The new Facebook BlackBerry app also includes support for the new messaging system Facebook recently released that aims to consolidate different communication media into a single platform.

Other features of the new Facebook app for BlackBerry include an improved user interface, more information in friends’ profiles, the ability to upload photos from your BlackBerry to your friend’s wall, among other features.

The new Facebook 2.0 beta application is currently only available for BlackBerry devices running device software 6.0. RIM says support for BlackBerry devices powered by software versions 4.x, and 5.x will soon be available.

Source: Research In Motion

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Murad is an engineering graduate from Centennial college in Toronto, Canada. Write to [email protected]
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