I received an update today for Facebook on my Android. The download itself was quick and easy, and the changes were quickly noticable. Here are my initial observations about the updates.
- Facebook really, really, really wants to sync my Facebook contacts with Google. I hate this feature. Once I did this download, Facebook would not stop asking me if I wanted to sync my contacts list until I finally agreed to do it, just to shut it up. Then, I had to go through my Facebook contacts, and delete the ones that had no useful information other than a Facebook status.
- I was pleased to see that unlike with other Facebook updates, I did NOT have to change my settings to opt-out of the "check-in" feature (Facebook places - this is the one that tells everyone exactly where you are. Because you know they want to know, right?) If haven't already, you can find out more and learn how to adjust your settings, at Facebook - AGAIN with the privacy?
- I was happy to see that "Groups" had been added to the main menu, and I can now see what's happening on my user-generated groups on the mobile app. This does not apply to the "old" facebook groups, but only the ones that have been created by users of their own friends.
Overall, I'm happy with the update.
Here's something I find a little disturbing, however. From the Facebook blog post on this update:
Now when you're logged into Facebook, it's easier for you to log in into other applications on your mobile phone with single sign on. Gone is that tedious annoyance of having to type in your username and password again on a tiny phone keyboard. Gone are those frustrating moments when you forget one of your many username and password variations and can't access an application.
Starting today, you can try this new experience yourself with any of these Android apps: Flixster, Groupon, Loopt, SCVNGR, Yelp and Zynga Poker. iPhone apps will soon be available with single sign on. Going forward, expect even more apps to launch with this functionality.
(For more, see this video.)
Just one problem - what if you're not the one in control of your phone? Can you imagine how much trouble (financially and socially) someone with less than honorable intentions could cause within a very short period of time if you're automatically signed into all of these applications all of the time? Hmm...
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.