Facebook For iPhone Gets Groups, Deals & Enhanced Places; Facebook CEO Says iPad Isn’t Mobile
Facebook released an updated version of their iPhone app at a media event held yesterday.
The updated iPhone app brings functionalities like Groups and Deals to the iPhone besides improving upon the app’s Places feature.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also revealed that that they don’t consider Apple’s iPad as a mobile device and are still trying to figure out their approach and strategy for tablets, which means that we’re unlikely to see an iPad app anytime soon.
The updated Facebook app gets the following new features:
Facebook has replaced the Friends requests icon on the app homescreen with the new Groups icon. Tapping on this icon will take the user to a page that lists all the Groups that they are a member of. This page also notifies the user of the number of unread messages alongside each Group name. The user may read through feeds, post their own updates and also upload photos to the Group via the Facebook app. However, as folks at Inside Facebook point out, other Group features like the Group admin controls, Group chat and Docs are not available on the iPhone app.
Facebook launched the Places feature on their iPhone app back in August of this year. The latest update however brings some significant improvements to this feature. Users launching the Facebook app on their iPhone will now see the Places icon on the homescreen along with a red notification count that denotes the number of nearby-checkins from friends. Tapping on the icon will let users look into these individual check-ins over a Google Maps widget. Users checking into a Place may also perform other actions like tagging friends, uploading photos, etc.
The Facebook iPhone app now comes with a ‘Check In‘ button on the top of the ‘News Feed‘ section. This page provides the user with a list of neighborhood businesses that they may check into. If any of these businesses are offering an active deal, they are marked with a yellow coupon icon. Tapping on these business listings will give the user details about the deal and a way to redeem them. It may however be noted that details about the check-in and the coupon redeemed are not kept private and are published to the users’ stream.
Facebook has also mentioned that the company will be coming up with more features in an upcoming version of the app. This includes features like a single sign-on service that will let users who are logged into the Facebook app to also access other apps like Flixster, Groupon and Loopt.
You may download the latest version of the Facebook app for iPhone and iPod Touch by clicking here.
Facebook app for iPad:
If you’re eagerly waiting for Facebook app for iPad then it looks like we’ve to wait longer as Ben Parr of Mashable who asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about the iPad app reports:
After a bit more back-and-forth between Zuckerberg and me, Tseng stepped in to explain that Facebook is still trying to figure out its approach and strategy for tablet devices. Because tablets are a new form factor, it requires a new approach.
The real hint to Facebookâ€™s iPad plans, though, is that Tseng focused on the form factor and not iOS. This could mean that Facebookâ€™s looking to build an HTML5 version of its website optimized for tablets. At the very least, Facebook seems intent on keeping a consistent experience across all tablet devices.
In the meantime though, Tseng points out that Facebook is accessible via the iPad through the official website (which is pretty darn functional) and through touch.facebook.com.
Based on his interaction, Parr concludes:
In other words, the iPad app isnâ€™t imminent, but clearly the company has thought about it and is working on a version of Facebook designed for the tablet.
As always, let us know your opinion in the comments section below and also don’t forget to give us feedback on the updated Facebook app for iPhone.
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