Facebook debuts on Android phones

The first version of Facebook for Google’s Android platform has quietly come out.

Like the iPhone edition, you can send out status updates, check the news feed, upload photos and browse profiles. It has the bonus of consolidating phone contacts into the app — you can look at up to 125 friends’ phone numbers on the home screen. However, note that some basic features are missing. You can’t send private messages or manage events the way you can on the iPhone version.

The app has been a long time coming — three versions have already been released on Apple’s iPhone. Android users have had to use Facebook’s mobile web page, a clunky substitute for a native application. There were also a few other unofficially produced applications that offered access to Facebook like eBuddy.

Although the Fan Page I linked to above confusingly says the app “was not developed by Facebook,” the team’s product manager confirmed that it’s theirs. A Google engineer built the core of the app and then developers from both companies collaborated on the final version, according to spokesperson Jaime Schopflin.

I haven’t gotten a chance to play with it yet, but here are a few more screenshots from Android and Me:


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