Even though I am quite passionate when it comes to using apps, I must admit that I used Facebook from my browser even on my mobile device. After I while I started using Facebook for my business too, so I downloaded Facebook Messenger, to get notified when I have a message. I did not really felt the need of an application to browse the status updates of others, but later on, I did decide to download the app, because I managed a plenty of Facebook pages and it was good to be notified when I got a message through a page.
I appreciate the efforts of developers who managed to build up a complex system, like this. The application has a plenty of good features and provides almost the same supplies as the good-old desktop version. Besides, the app is very-very handy: it enables the user to share pictures directly from the camera, it can broadcast live videos, and for long it has been able to support privacy setting changes.
However, I strongly believe Facebook app should really find a more sustainable way of development. Today the app uses over 400 MBs on some devices. This means that it crashes 3-4 times a day on my 2-years-old Galaxy S4 and it hardly even usable on my good old Galaxy Mini S5570. Funnily enough, it works perfectly all right on my tab, on which I find it absolutely useless, as it is a powerful devices and the browser version does the job too.
This is kind of sad, but fortunately Facebook realized this problem. There is an alternative of Facebook application. It is Facebook Lite, which is designed to work on slow 2G networks as well. For those, who use their phones to check messages and be alerted when an update comes Lite is going to do the business.
Facebook Lite has almost the same functions as Facebook App, you can even upload photos from the camre of your device – so for those who do not want to use the newest features of the FB App, it is a very good alternative. There might be problems with loading the newest posts, but despite of these, I think it is a good and reasonable solution.
The biggest advantage of Facebook Lite is that it is able to handle messages, unlike the Facebook app, which forces the user to download Facebook messenger in order to chat. Of course, Messenger is a very good platform for sending and getting texts or even making video and phone calls, but I do not really feel fair that I do not have the choice.
As far as I can see, Facebook does not see much future in developing Facebook app to perfection, they develop more and more single app for the single duties. There is, for example, Moments, which was designed to share and organize photos (and provide unnecessary features, plus using a great amount of background energy), Pages, which can be used for managing Facebook pages (and tends to discard your posts without permission) or Groups, which enables you to manage your groups (nice admission of that Facebook App’s same feature is pretty slow in this case.)
I tried to download all the Facebook programs to my tab, which is a dual core Asus Memo Pad, but it was a complete failure. Facebook Lite and Facebook app cannot work together. They send the notifications about the same events in parallel, surprising me in with constant beeping and clinking. Facebook Lite cannot work together with Messenger, neither can Pages, so I uninstalled Lite and kept browsing my timeline with Facebook App.
My tab is not an old one and I pay attention on using it carefully, but I constantly had crashes and error messages. When I restarted the gadget, It took minutes to the apps to refresh and if I opened 2-3 of them at the same time, they often crashed or failed to fresh and send me the notification.
I strongly hope that Facebook will soon come out with a more usable solution – for example a handy and well usable Facebook app, otherwise it won’t work on portable device. At this time Facebook app has almost all the features of the other applications, but messaging was already removed from it, and I strongly hope that it is not a beginning of a tendency. If the functions of Groups, Moments and Pages were deleted too, we’d need separate gadgets that have enough memory to use Facebook apps. Not a smartphone, but a single, portable Facebook device.
Okay, it is easy to see the point in what Facebook does. However, portables getting cheaper and smarter, and there are already people who do not have a PC at home, but use the portables in their free time and keep desktops for work. And here is the point when I start to worry: for them, it is a necessity either to buy an expensive gadget, or they can use almost nothing, apart from Facebook application.
I hope that Facebook realizes the pressure and will work on more sustainable app in the future. Although I do not want to demonize the company of Mr. Zuckerberg, it would not be great on the long run for our world to be dominated by one single platform.