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Yea! Facebook's iPhone/iPad App Finally Stops Sucking!

Hooray! With an update today Facebook's iOS app for the iPhone and iPad finally stops being so terrible! Lately using the application on my iPad was an exercise in futility outside of just simple likes or comments. If I ever tried to follow a link, this was what usually greeted me:

Facebook ipad before

It would sit there and sit there and sit there... and often what I would do was hit the arrow in the upper right to open the link up in Safari on the iPad. The link would typically load almost immediately in Safari and I'd be reading the page. Then when I flipped back to the Facebook app I would just hit the back arrow to go back to reading the stream.

The ONLY reason I really continued to use the Facebook app at all was because it was easier to use than the straight Facebook website when it came to liking posts. In using the website on the iPad I often found I had to tap the "Like" link twice to make it work - or not. It was inconsistent, where the app generally always worked.

I just dreaded having to open a link in the app.

And then today with little fanfare outside of an update from Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook released version "5.0" of the iOS app through the AppStore:

Facebook update

Upon learning about the new release from my own Facebook stream of updates (thanks, Dameon!), I updated the app on both my iPhone and iPad and was immediately pleased by the performance improvement.

MUCH faster! Kudos to the Facebook team for making the application actually pleasant to use!

In a quick bit of usage there seem to be many other tweaks to the UI. One I found particularly pleasing was a numerical notification of new updates since the last time you refreshed the feed:

Facebook ipad new stories

I haven't yet used it enough to find new changes I dislike... I'm sure there may be a few... but at least the application now is much faster and more responsive.

Thanks, Facebook team, for getting this new release out!

And if you have the FB app installed on your iOS device, head on over to the AppStore to get the update!

What do you think? Are there still parts of the mobile experience that are broken? Will this new release make you want to use the app again? Or will you stick to the website?

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11 Hours Left To Claim Your App.Net Username...

App netYesterday, App.Net hit its funding goal of $500,000 USD and at the time I write this it has cruised over $745,000 with 11-ish hours left to go!

As I mentioned in my report into FIR podcast episode 660 back in July, App.Net is an interesting experiment into seeing if a real-time social communication platform can be created without advertising and instead through soliciting paid members.

One note... App.Net is NOT just another "Twitter clone". Here are two good perspectives on why App.Net is different:

In my report into today's FIR 664 episode, I spoke about what this successful funding means... and about the ecosystem of applications that is already developing around the App.Net alpha.

This is excellent to see... and definite congratulations are due to Dalton Caldwell and the whole crew!

IMPORTANT NOTE: App.Net may or may not take off wildly (obviously those of us backing it hope it does!)... but if it does and you would like to use the same username you use on Twitter, you only have until midnight US Pacific TONIGHT to back the project and claim your username. As Dalton Caldwell writes:

Please note that once the backing period is over, users will no longer be able to “claim” their Twitter usernames. From that moment forward usernames will be awarded on a first-come first-served basis. We implemented “claiming” as a fringe benefit for our backers, not as a go-forward plan. I want to make sure that latecomers are not surprised and disappointed to see that they can no longer get their preferred username.

If you'd like to claim your username, you can go to and sign up as a backer... yes, it will cost you $50 for a year... and yes, the project may or may not turn out to go anywhere... so you have to make your own decision as to whether or not it's worth the investment.

For me, I gladly backed the project because I see it as potentially offering more competition into the space... and I was a huge fan of the original idea of Twitter as an API-centric social communications platform. I've been disappointed with the change in Twitter's focus, and I'd like to see where App.Net goes.

What do you think? Will you back App.Net? (Have you already?)

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