The new, free Facebook for BlackBerry application, v1.5, is now publicly available. An unofficial version of the new Facebook app leaked last month, and I gave you my first impressions then, which were less-than-positive, to say the least. Unfortunately, the official release is no better. The problem: It’s just a polished version of the two-year-old Facebook BlackBerry app.
As far as I can tell, little or no cosmetic changes have been made to the Facebook 1.5, which is now at v188.8.131.52, since it leaked. That earlier version, which was compatible only with BlackBerry devices running OS v4.6–think: Pearl 82xx, Bold and Storm–was v184.108.40.206.
On the whole, it’s worth the upgrade to Facebook for BlackBerry v1.5, because it does pack some improvements. For example, messages and Friend requests now appear in your BlackBerry Messages folder. And you can now integrate information from your Facebook calendar with your BlackBerry, so events you plan to attend and Friends’ birthdays appear on your device calendar.
You can also choose to integrate your BlackBerry and Facebook contacts, so related information is pulled from Facebook into your BlackBerry address book. The app lets you tie photos of your Facebook Friends to BlackBerry contacts. And you can request additional contact information, like phone numbers, from your Friends, or create entirely new BlackBerry contacts, directly from the Friend List within the app.
But everything is else nearly identical to the earlier version; the landing page for Facebook for BlackBerry 1.5 is the same as v1.2 of the application; still no access to your Facebook groups, event invites, requests, test, quizzes etc.
I’m still hanging onto hope that Facebook for BlackBerry v1.5 is just an interim “fix” between v1.2 and v2.0, but I’m not holding my breath; if the next Facebook BlackBerry app takes nearly as long to reach the masses as v1.5, Facebook itself might be a thing of the past by the time we see even a leaked version.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.