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RIM announces Facebook for BlackBerry v1.9 in beta, featuring a dedicated inbox, search, and Places
RIM announced Monday the beta launch of Facebook for BlackBerry v1.9, which now includes a dedicated inbox for Facebook messages, a Facebook search function and a couple other essential features.
Notably, while Facebook develops official apps for iOS, Android OS, and webOS, Nokia and RIM both develop the application for their own mobile devices.
The new Facebook app finally includes a dedicated inbox that stays perfectly in sync--including for deleted or opened items--with your inbox on the actual Facebook site. As an added bonus, users who would rather include Facebook messages with all of their other messages have the option to do so.
BlackBerry users can now search for individual people and pages just as they would through the Facebook search function. From the results page, users can see some of mutual friends’ profile pages, enlarge their profile picture, and add new friends. Though a returned Page cannot be visited, the user can choose to Like it. As with the new inbox, RIM has decided to integrate Facebook search directly into the phone’s central system by making Facebook search results pop up in Universal Search.
Minor updates include the addition of profile pictures alongside names on the Friends List, the ability to see Pages in list form, and a navigation bar with icons added for the inbox and search functions.
Because this is just the beta of Facebook v1.9, not all users will have access to it immediately. Users shouldn’t be too disappointed, though, because the final version will include access to Facebook Places as well as some UI updates.
On the other hand, don’t a lot of these sound like features that should already come standard with any Facebook app? Maybe, but as it stands, every single mobile Facebook app is merely playing catch-up with the one available on iPhone. Version 3 of Facebook for iPhone is so fantastic, that it has hardly needed much of an update since then-lead developer Joe Hewitt unleashed it on the world in August 2009. Granted, it should probably add Groups functionality if Facebook is serious about its users forming those smaller internal networks. But come on: neither Facebook for Android or RIM has implemented Facebook Chat. Even iPad lacks a proper Facebook app. Ridiculous.
If there’s any conclusion here, it’s this: Facebook has some serious work to do in mobile.
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Research In Motion Limited (RIM) is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information, including email, phone, text messaging (SMS and MMS), Internet and intranet-based applications. RIM technology also enables a broad array of third-party developers and manufacturers to enhance their products and services with wireless connectivity to data.
RIMs portfolio of award-winning products, services and embedded technologies are used by thousands of organizations around the world and include the BlackBerry® wireless platform, BlackBerry smartphones, software development tools, radio-modems and software/hardware licensing agreements. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. RIM is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq: RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange