If you like to, or would like to use Facebook on your Android based phone, there are a lot of options available, all of which can be found in the “Google Play Store” and each of which fall into one of the following categories (when reading the following, remember that if something can’t be done on the Facebook site, then it can’t be done by an app so by “functions/features”, I mean whether it allows you to do everything Facebook can do and if it makes it easier than the Facebook site to do):
Official FB App: This one is self explanatory. It is simply the Official app that Facebok puts out and which is completely Free.
This is a very fast, very smooth running app! In fact, it’s usually rated as the fastest, smoothest Facebook experience there is for an Android based device.
I previously did agree with that claim, but I would now dispute it, based on my experience with the “wrapper” that I am currently using (that I will discuss later in this article).
The official app does have some very serious drawbacks though. For example:
* When uploading photos, it forces you to swipe through every image on your device to find the one you want. And you cannot use your default Gallery app which would have them sorted into folders/categories for you either. Instead, you have to use the apps’ built-in image browser, which just throws all of the images on your device together, in no specific order. If you had, like I do, about a thousand images on your device, you can imagine what it would be like to try and find a single image that you wish to upload and how long it could take. And imagine if you upload photos often!
* This app uses up a lot more storage space when it is installed. It also uses a lot more CPU and more RAM.
* This app also uses a whole lot (way) more Mobile Data than any other Facebook app, or wrapper out there, hands down! It is constantly using it up, even when you’re not using the app! So if you have a specific amount of Mobile Data that your Mobile Data Plan allows you to use each month, then this is not the app for you, as it can run you over your limit each month, even if you don’t use it, so that you very well could end up with overage charges at a much higher rate each month!
And remember, even if you have a plan with “Unlimited Data”, you could still be negatively impacted by this, as the more it is using Mobile Data for purposes other than what you’re trying to do (loading ads, sending device data, sending data to Google about you and what you’re doing), the less bandwidth you have available for what you are actually trying to do on your phone. So as I said, even if you have an Unlimited Data Plan, you can still be hurt by a Facebook app that is a data hog (like the Official Facebook app! Just as it hogging any other resources (CPU, RAM, etc.) will diminish your overall Android experience, since anything else you’re running will only get what’s left of the devices resources.
* This app could and I believe that it does, send a lot more information to the company than just what you’re doing on Facebook at the moment.
* There is a “Lite” version of this app, but it still uses too much of the devices resources and Mobile Data.
3rd Party FB Apps: Some of these will offer you more functions/features than the official app and some of them will offer you less. They do typically have a lighter footprint than the official app and will typically use less resources than the official app and importantly, less Mobile Data! But you do have to choose carefully with these things in mind, as some of them can be resource and mobile data hogs.
Personally, for a 3rd party app, I would recommend “Fast”. It is very configurable and seems to be the fastest and lightest of the 3rd party apps. You can find the Free version here and the Pro version here. It also has a separate Messenger app found here.
If that one doesn’t suit you, you can try “Mini”, which has a Free version that can be found here.
In my opinion though, a quality made wrapper (see further down) is a better option all around.
Official FB Web Site: Facebook does have a Mobile Version of their web site, which you can open up your browser on your Android device and use. The drawback here may be speed and capabilities, as it will not have all of the functions/features that 3rd Party Apps/Wrappers will give to you, plus they can be harder to get to when using the mobile site.
3rd Party FB Wrappers: As far as I am concerned, this is the best option!
A “wrapper” is simply some functionality “wrapped” around a web site. This means that you can have the liteness of a web site, with functions added, like notifications (like they’re done in an app) and some cooler and easier ways to do stuff, like uploading pictures, updating status, etc. (check its settings). So you lose all of the bulk, but add some really cool stuff! :-)
The Facebook Wrapper that I use and highly recommend, is “Folio Pro” (try the Free version first, to make sure it will work on your setup). It is full of features, yet it’s light on resources and will not eat up all your Mobile Data! With a quality wrapper by a reputable developer, like Folio, no more data than the mobile web site uses, which means less than any other Facebook solution!
Folio Pro not only does everything that the official app does, but it does even more on top of that, by offering you very simple ways to get things done!
This wrapper simply cannot be beat for features and it is really fast and super smooth! In my opinion, just as smooth as the Facebook app, with none of the downside!
You can find Folio for Facebook in the Google Play Store. You can find the Free version here and the Pro version (I think it’s $1.43), which eliminates ads (which Free apps almost always have and which can eat up quite a bit of your mobile data) and which will be adding more features, here.
There are other wrappers out there, of course, but the only other one that I feel comfortable recommending to you, is “Swipe”, which uses Chrome Tabs and therefore needs the latest version of the Chrome browser for Android installed on your device. If that is the case, you can find the Free version here and the Pro version here.
Closing: So again, if you’re interested in using Facebook on your Android device, or in having a better Facebook experience on your device, the above options are available to you and now, the differences explained. :-)