Why an app for Facebook instead of browser? Looking for a GOOD FB app? Look here!

Discussion in 'Android Applications' started by Jonny Kansas, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. Jonny Kansas
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    Jonny Kansas Premium Member Rescue Squad Premium Member

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    This was originally posted in another thread...by me, but I figured I'd put it on it's own to give some people some insight.

    First, to anyone who would rather use the browser than an app for Facebook. IMHO, I like to get notifications. I like to know when someone I care to keep in touch with has left me a comment/etc. That's why I wanted a decent FB app. (I have bloo set to refresh notifications every 2 minutes and have never seen it use more than 4-5% of total battery consumption via the phone's battery usage info.)

    To those that think there's no good FB app for Android or that all that any of them do is link to the browser/mobile/touch sites, guess again. This thread is about an app that avoids the browser as much as it can.

    This thread is about bloo. There's been mention of it in several other threads, but I haven't seen anyone put together any sort of "presentation," if you will as to what makes it (IMO) better than the browser/other apps.

    Here's some info that I put together to further illustrate my point as to the benefit of an app over the browser and to prove that it's possible to have a great app for FB: (I am NOT affiliated with the dev in any way)

    This is your main screen (Pretty Self Explanatory)
    [​IMG]

    When you click Share, you get this dialog. From here, you can upload video, or easily share links as well as simply update your status. bloo is also integrated well into the phone. You can share from your gallery via bloo. In Dolphin, when I click "Share Page" in the menu, bloo is also an option there, so it's not even necessary to copy the url and past it into the share box unless you want to put a comment with it
    [​IMG]

    Next, you've got your feed. I like how things like the horoscope at the top are displayed in bloo a LOT better than the stock app. In fact, I just opened the native app and that horoscope doesn't even show in the feed. Sure, it's just a horoscope, but I have a buddy who's horoscope I like to comment on from time to time. I make it sound even more ridiculous and twist the meaning as I paraphrase it...Yeah...I'm a dork...
    [​IMG]
  2. Jonny Kansas
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    Jonny Kansas Premium Member Rescue Squad Premium Member

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    Here are the notifications. As you can kinda see with my friend Carly's status notifications, you get a good look at a thread of comments. When You have bloo set to notify you, this window will open by itself so you can view notifications. Clicking any of them takes you to the corresponding post. Also important to note, if you get 1 notification and the phone vibrates and/or makes the sound you've chosen, and then you get more notifications before checking it, it doesn't re-notify you (which would get really old really fast). Instead, when you pull down your notification tray from the status bar, you'll see you have X number of notifications.
    [​IMG]

    The photos are one of my favorite parts of this app. I hate the way the touch site handles photos...I can't figure out how to view comments. And the mobile site displays them so small, you have to zoom in if you're viewing someone else's photo for the first time to figure out what you're looking at. The horizontal list of albums scrolls very smoothly and throughout the app, you'll find the subtle fading effect that you see on the display image of the photo on the left. bloo also allows you to create a new album from within your photos section of the app. You cannot create a new album when uploading directly from the gallery though, so be sure to create an album in the program first.
    [​IMG]

    This is a look inside one of my smaller albums. Larger albums will only load so many thumbnails at a time (I forget how many). Pressing menu gives you the option to expand. This is nice as far as wait times go because it's only retrieving so much data at one time and once it's got the first batch, it simply adds the subsequent batches in and you can scroll up/down.
    [​IMG]

    Last, but not least, is a photo in "full view." By default, photos are just a bit bigger than in the mobile browser, but double-tapping them puts them in full view (depending on from where/how it was uploaded, some photos won't get much larger in full view. As I'm not the dev and know nothing about the app other than that I enjoy using it, I don't know the reason behind this.) In full view, a long press will bring up a menu to tag yourself or tag a friend. Pressing menu in either view of a photo gives you the option to save, view comments, show tags, or view caption. From view comments, you can press menu again to post a new comment.
    [​IMG]

    Bloo also has contact sync/merge abilities, but I haven't played around with them enough to give much information about it. I think I've used it on one or two contacts that the official app didn't give me pictures for. I figure if I "HAVE" to have the official app on my phone, it might as well do SOMETHING. Haha!
  3. Jonny Kansas
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    Jonny Kansas Premium Member Rescue Squad Premium Member

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    Conclusion

    In the changelog and his official website, the dev has stated "So, it seems that Facebook now allows 3rd party clients to integrate Facebook Chat. I put the widget on hold for a bit and give higher priority to Facebook chat. 1.4.4 has some preliminary work." So Facebook chat and all that you see above (plus a little more) will eventually be available in one convenient app.

    In addition, on the same website (link provided below), he states, "For starters, Facebook API (Application Programming Interface) as the name suggests is an interface which Bloo — and other Facebook apps for that matter — communicate with. It includes a variety of methods that allow apps to perform actions (e..g Like a post). These methods are defined and supported by Facebook. For the sake of security, Facebook has created a permission system in which it allows the user to explicitly allow a 3rd party app to perfom an action."

    In addition, "The API does not offer any function to send inbox messages and an extremely limited API fo chat. In fact, there is only one method for chat I have seen and that requires a browser, something that Bloo avoids and also is not able to handle. During a phone conversation I found out that Facebook only offers inbox send functionality to trusted partners. This is why apps like iPhone or BlackBerry can send them. These are official apps and are trusted partners with Facebook." Although you can't SEND messages from bloo, you CAN view your inbox by clicking the Inbox button the the main page. Blame FACEBOOK for not being able to reply directly from bloo.

    Though the part about chat seems like it may be irrelevant soon (This latter part comes from an older post), this might explain fairly well why it's so difficult to get a "Good" Facebook app on Android from anyone other than Facebook or Google, but Google's got a lot of other things to deal with and Facebook seems hell-bent on trying to overtake Google. :icon_eek:

    That being said, I bought my Droid in late November '09, and was immediately disgusted by the "Official" Facebook app. I figured I'd give the free bloo beta a try, and I haven't looked back since.

    The fact that Facebook is easing up on its strict control over what sort of apps/programs can access it is a good sign for anyone who cares about Facebook on Android.

    As previously stated, I'm in no way affiliated with the dev of bloo or Facebook, but I'd be happy to do my best to field any questions about everyday use, as this has literally become the way I use Facebook. When everyone was posting about how much they hate the new layout of Facebook, I was simply using good ol' bloo. Haha!

    Link to dev's site (source of quotes)-> Bloo – The Android Facebook App

    I'm not trying to push a pile of s*** on you guys. I really think this is a great app for facebook if you don't give a crap about mafia wars, farmville, cafe town, donkey village, and whatever else those stupid games are...lol...At least until we get Flash...

    Hope this gives you some insight into the benefits of a REAL app and the knowledge that not ALL facebook apps simply point to the browser. bloo avoids it a ALL costs.

    If you experience problems when attempting to authorize bloo: I've been informed that when they clicked "get code" to authorize bloo to access their FB account, the browser popped up with a FB page, but it was not the correct page. If this happens to you, log out of the stock app and try again. This is confirmed to work by two people (Thanks brock and Mikeal007!)

    Also, I just ran into another problem when reinstalling/reauthorizing after flashing a new rom...If the "get code" button takes you to the browser and redirects to the touch site of FB, log in and then return to bloo and push "get code" again. You must be logged in for it to take you to the page you need, as each code is generated for the specific user logged in!

    If those two options don't work, try this...(thanks tcrews!)


    If you're STILL having trouble, use the following link from your computer to get your code and then type it into bloo.
    I am alive and so is 1.4.4. Bloo – The Android Facebook App

    Also, for a screenshot of the settings for bloo and info on how I've got my personal notifications setup so that I get them within minutes of someone leaving a comment (with MINIMAL battery drain), see post 33

    Wondering which version to download? The paid version is obsolete. It used to be that the free version was where the experimental new updates/features were tested. The paid version was only "stable" features. He's done away with using the paid version. It even says so in the market description of it.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2010
  4. Sam
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    Sam Premium Member Premium Member

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    thanks for the write up, I'm gonna give it a shot.. I have written off (deleted actually) the stock app because it is useless.
  5. Jonny Kansas
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    Jonny Kansas Premium Member Rescue Squad Premium Member

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    Not a problem! I've been enjoying it all this time and totally forgot that it was a market app. Granted, it's still in beta, but it certainly gets the job done for me!

    If anyone has questions or comments or anything to add that I missed, let er rip! I work midnights though, and am going to bed now, so if I don't respond until this evening, please don't hold it against me! :)
  6. bamfsig45
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    bamfsig45 New Member

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    I do like bloo a lot more than the stock app. But I like my smoked widget on my home screen and until Bloo gets a widget (looks like its coming :icon_ banana:) Im sticking to stock. Also the FB chat sounds great . My only complaint about bloo at this point is it seems to take more time to download the profile pics in the news feed.
  7. tcrews
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    tcrews Premium Member Premium Member Developer

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    Just tried it and it pretty much sucked for me. Wouldn't let me view but a few of the profiles of friends I have on Facebook. I couldn't even view my own profile. Error pop up saying "there is no profile information or you are not friends with this profile" or something like that. Uninstalled.

    I could view my pictures but not my profile, and I liked the way it handled pictures a LOT. I could visit the profile of someone I added a few days ago but not mine, my fiance's, my best friend's or any of the others I regularly visit. This was a complete deal breaker for me.
  8. armeddroid
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    armeddroid New Member

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    Johnny, whas the difference between the Native app and the Free version?
  9. Jonny Kansas
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    Jonny Kansas Premium Member Rescue Squad Premium Member

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    I don't worry mug about profile pics in the feed, because I look at the names more than anything, but the pics CAN take a little while sometimes. Never been much of a fan of Widgets for stuff like this. Seems like there never REALLY accurate. I've got two buddy's, one on iPhone, one on blackberry and we have whole conversations on fb via our phones with not a LOT of lag between responses with MT notification timer set to 2 mins.

    As to not being able to view profiles, I've experienced it maybe a couple times, but I more often than not, it hasn't been an issue for me.

    I can only speculate, but I'm guessing that could have something to do with facebook's API as well...Not wanting to give too much access of friend info to "untrusted" apps/etc. All I really pay attention to is the feed unless I see that someone posted several pics. Everyone's status and uploads and things show up there. I don't visit other people's profiles much on the rare occasion I'm on the computer either though. Bloos feed is the "recent" feed. Ie what's been posted by anyone in the order it was posted.

    Depending on how you use Facebook, bloo may nit be for you, but it keeps me updated and it handles pics better than the web. Again, it's only beta and without being an "official trusted partner" there's only so much ANY app can do win fb at this point.

    Bloo works for my main concerns. Notifications when someone comments something I posted or commented, a nice simple view of the feed with a long press giving the option to go to profiles or comment/like, and wonderful picture interface, especially now that he fixed the bug when clicking a notification about a pic and not being able to get to it that way...

    If you want more than that, no Android app that I've seen can give it to you.
  10. Jonny Kansas
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    Jonny Kansas Premium Member Rescue Squad Premium Member

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    It tells you in the market if you click on the paid version. Paid version is obsolete. He's sticking with the free beta for now. That's all I've used. According to comments I read, beta tended to have "better features," but that's because he was using the free version to test things and making sure they worked and were stable before putting them in the paid version. Must've decided that wasn't the best idea.

    (I really AM going to bed soon...Haha)
  11. armeddroid
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    armeddroid New Member

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    oh ok..cool
    just picked it up and going to give it a test run.
    thanks.
  12. papy72
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    papy72 New Member

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    I like and use Bloo, but it only shows me updates from my actual friends. None of my fan page updates ever come through, which forces me to look at the regular FB for Android app.

    Is there a setting somewhere that I've missed which will show these updates as well?
  13. mark1wat
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    mark1wat New Member

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    The only thing I don't like, and maybe you have a fix for me, is the notifications. Sure, it would be cool to a have a notification for somethings, but when i have bloo open, I get notifications constantly.

    Stuff like..

    Welcome to Farmville Gift Sender...
    Your Yearbook is now in 3-D...We have a collectable Flowering tree...
    New Henchman...
    Play Globs...
    4 minutes a tuer...
    Everyone loves to Pillow fight!...
    Sorry abou tthat@! March is almost here:) ...
    Battle the mighty Earth Elemental, Genesis! ...

    Is there a way to filter this stuff. I don't need to stop what I am doing to check my phone to know that I can now "Battle the Mighty Earth Elemental". lol
  14. ipawd1
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    ipawd1 New Member

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    I just wish they would change the notification icon to something more savvy than the white sign. Looks tacky going along with the rest of my things
  15. mark1wat
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    mark1wat New Member

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    Wow, I don't know how I missed it, but I NOW see "Applications you've authorised" They are ALL checked...All 30 something of them. No wonder I am getting so much crap.

    I hope unchecking all of them solves my problem.
  16. natediddy1120
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    natediddy1120 New Member

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    What ever happened to Myspace?
  17. mtbhk44
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    mtbhk44 New Member

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    What is wrong with me - where do I get the confirmation code from????
  18. Nowherefast
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    Nowherefast New Member

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    I downloaded this app to my Eris and it doesn't seem to be working at all or for the moment...The only thing I can see are my pictures....

    When I click to see my own profile or any of my friends profile's, I get the following error mesage:

    Feed Unavailable - There are no posts in this feed or your are not friends with that person, please try again later.

    any thoughts...
  19. ohioDroid
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    ohioDroid New Member

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    I was reading your whole talk about Bloo and the whole time thinking "I'm not going to pay for Facebook!"

    I didn't realize the pay-for version of Bloo was depreciated and that there was a free beta available.

    Guess I'll try it out. So far it seems to be getting stuck loading a number of my things but I'll be patient and try it for a few days.
  20. yankee112792
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    yankee112792 New Member

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    what rom are you using that makes your notification bar like that?
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