FriendCaster

With all of the hubbub about how poorly Facebook's app for Android functions, I went on a hunt. A lot of people (both in comments here and on the Market) talked about using FriendCaster as a superior alternative, so I started my search there.

As you can no doubt see, the interface is strikingly similar to the traditional Facebook app. That's not a bad thing, as it keeps everything nice and familiar, which is what I was hoping for. The news feed is just about what you'd expect, and getting from screen to screen to comment or like is as simple as a tap or a long-press.

There's also the requisite "Places" option, (named Checkin here), that allows you to find places via GPS or coarse location, and also tag friends.

One of the features I was most impressed with was the picture viewing. While viewing pictures, the picture will take up your entire screen, by default, and there's a nice, slide-to-move dynamic that is very Android, and very cool. You can keep track of where you are in an album by looking at the string of dots at the top of the screen. The solid dot is where you're at, the empty dots are all of the other pictures.

There's also a strong settings menu, filled with all sorts of notifications options. I learned (by accident) that when someone "Likes" one of your posts, FriendCaster gives you a popup on your homescreen, instead of an icon in the notification bar. It's real-time (something not readily available on the Android version), so that's always a plus.

There's also a setting for tablet-sized screens that comes built into the app, so you don't need to worry about getting yet another app (or waiting for Facebook to come around and do it themselves).

Where FriendCaster falters, I think, is the price. There's a free version in the Market that's ad-supported as well as a Pro version for $4.99. The Pro version is definitely good, but unless you absolutely abhor the stock Facebook app, pushing five dollars seems a little steep to feed your Facebook addiction.

At any rate, more pictures and download links are after the break.

FriendCaster FriendCaster

FriendCaster FriendCaster FriendCaster FriendCaster FriendCaster FriendCaster