Review: FriendsFlow | webOS Nation

Review: FriendsFlow 39

by Robert Werlinger Tue, 02 Mar 2010 10:55 am EST

FriendsFlow ($1.99 in the App Catalog) has been around in various incarnations since before there were paid apps, being one of the very first third party Facebook clients for webOS in the homebrew section. Since then, Palm has released its own Facebook App, another third party app called FriendsBook has hit, and Facebook has been updating their mobile site on a consistent basis. So that begs the question: how does the only paid Facebook app in the Catalog stack up against the competition?


Features and use

FriendsFlow gives you everything you’d expect from a fully features Facebook client: the ability to view peoples profiles, write on their wall, view pictures and those sorts of things. Viewing and managing events, watching imbedded videos, and everything else along those lines still has to be done from the mobile Facebook site.

To get the program up and running, you have to allow it access to your Facebook account. Most people are okay with this type of set-up, but remember: you're granting nearly unfettered access to your Facebook account to a third party program.

There’s really no excuse to having such a lousy user interface this day in age, and FriendsFlow is bad. Navigation elements are put into the upper left hand drawer that is normally reserved for preference and account menus, and they don’t persist in every scene; if you’re viewing somebody’s profile, for example, you’ll only find “edit” and “help” instead of the navigation options you’d expect to find. My suggestion to the developers? Emulate Pivotal Lab’s example in Tweed and implement a persistent navigation bar at the top of the screen.

Beyond that, everything else in the program represents the bare minimum. Text is generally un-formatted and in a large, sometimes difficult to read font. They didn’t bother to integrate with the native photo viewer, so pictures are displayed in white space. There are notifications, but they aren’t configurable, which means that you’ll be getting a notification every time somebody updates their status, comments on your status, or likes your status. If you have a busy Facebook feed, this quickly becomes a feature you’ll want to turn off.


In all, using FriendsFlow feels like I’m using a poorly made (though run at native speeds) webpage that was created by using a geocities site builder - the user interface and overall look is really that bad. They really need to step up the look and feel.

While I would love to have a Facebook application in the same league as what the iPhone platform enjoys, the app we got from Palm (see Dieter's review here) honestly suits 90% of my mobile Facebook needs (quickly checking status updates, commenting on them and posting my own status updates, sometimes with pictures), with all of my other needs being supplanted by the mobile site. Not only are both options free and on the whole more pleasant to use than FriendsFlow.


It's a functioning Facebook client


The $1.99 asking price is far to steep.