iPhone’s Facebook gets push notifications

Facebook push notifications.The Facebook iPhone app got a nice update today: push notifications! It took awhile, but considering the application’s most prominent developer recently quit, it’s not much of a surprise.

The update seems small, but it’s a pretty serious change in the way you can use the app. You no longer need to be working in the app to see updates. They’ll get pushed straight through, just like a text message. If you have friends like mine, that kind of up-to-the-minute response can be crucial. Incriminating photo gets tagged? Now you know instantly.

The update also included some handy contact syncing. Your Facebook contacts can now be linked up to your contact list, photos and all. It’s a nice way to get pics of those people you might not otherwise have in your phone. It also feels slightly less creepy than copying a picture from Facebook and using it. Yes, I’ve done that. Yes, I am ashamed.

Image: TechCrunch


Facebook for WebOS is as weak as the App Catalog

facebook-palmLike most things involving WebOS and the new Palm devices, the Facebook app for WebOS is underwhelming. Actually, it’s worse than that, considering how far app development has come since the smartphone app craze started. Maybe they should get Joe Hewitt involved? I hear he’s done with that other project he’s been working on.

The problem is just a total lack of features. You get unfiltered news feeds, even if you’ve unselected application updates in your profile, and videos and links pull you out of the app. Sure it’s nice to multitask but to do so unnecessarily is just silly. There’s seemingly no search feature, no way to access events, and clicking another person’s name seems to bring up little more than contact info.

What can you do? Well, you can upload pictures and post status updates and…well that seems to be about it. Another compelling reason to get a Palm Pre.


Joe Hewitt quits iPhone development because of Apple

Joe Hewitt.Joe Hewitt’s been unhappy with and outspoken about Apple’s app approval process since about the time he started working on the Facebook app. Well he’s finally had enough. According to a recent, tweet he’s done working on the app and ready to move on.

Time for me to try something new. I’ve handed the Facebook iPhone app off to another engineer, and I’m onto a new project.

Hewitt also said in very clear language that he left iPhone development because of Apple. Speaking to TechCrunch he said, “My decision to stop iPhone development has had everything to do with Apple’s policies. I respect their right to manage their platform however they want, however I am philosophically opposed to the existence of their review process.” As are a lot of people, but to this point no one with Hewitt’s resume has made the same decision (Arrington left the iPhone for a different reason and he’s not a developer).

Hewitt’s in a better position to “quit” then some developers, though. He’s got a swanky gig at Facebook, where he’ll still be developing after his announcement. A house like Tapulous, on the other hand, is making enough money off the App Store that it’s unlikely it will leave, and we probably wouldn’t hear about one of its developers quitting because of a philosophical opposition like Hewitt’s.

Instead we’ll probably continue to see the trickle of policy changes Apple has made over the last several months. The most recent allows developers to see real time status updates about the app, so when it’s sitting in “waiting for review” you can start throwing around some lawsuits.


Facebook 3.0 Is Live

Facebook 3.0 for the iPhone.Facebook developer Joe Hewitt can finally rest easy knowing that his app is approved and in public hands. It certainly took long enough. Hewitt posted his submission on his Twitter page a couple weeks back. He made a blog post earlier this week decrying the App Store for its lengthy and often arbitrary approval process. Well the app is finally out, and it’s pretty great.

The update brings a whole list of new features along and gives the software a makeover. The new interface is much more direct, which is something I really appreciate. I probably say it too much, but I don’t really like Facebook, so making my user experience quick and to the point is fantastic.

I also like that I can manage events from the new app. I mentioned yesterday that I prefer an uncluttered digital experience and this is just one more thing I can manage on the go. As always, the app is free for download.


Facebook App Still Isn’t Approved

Facebook 3.0 still delayed.Apple’s been hard at work trying to remedy the disease that is the App Store review process. It’s lengthy, arbitrary, and creates more drama for the company than other issue. But Phil Schiller can only be in so many places at once, and try as it might, Apple is still letting apps fall through the cracks. Big apps. Highly anticipated apps. Facebook 3.0 apps.

We’ve been hearing about the new Facebook app for months, and it really does sound awesome. It adds a lot of features I won’t re-reprint here. But the app is stuck in review limbo, awaiting the whimsical approval of the 40-man review team, and even the developers are starting to speak out.

Facebook 3.0 developer Joe Hewitt has been the man primarily responsible for keeping the public up to date on the app’s progress. You really have to applaud the guy for making his submission public because it puts a lot of pressure on Apple (a move Real copied this week). Hewitt’s gone public again, this time with a long list of level-headed complaints for the review team. My favorite goes like this:

Oh, but you say that iPhone apps are different, because they run native code and can do scary things that web pages can’t? Again, you’re wrong, because iPhone apps are sandboxed and have scarcely any more privileges than a web app. About the only scary thing they can do outside the sandbox is access your address book, but Apple can easily fix that by requiring they ask permission first, just like they must do to track your location.

Be sure to read the rest of the post. It could have been a lot of whining and moaning and “I’m smarter than all of Apple combined.” Instead, Hewitt put together a solid argument for the dissolution of the App Store review process.