BlackBerry address book integrates Facebook, apes Palm Pre's "Synergy" and INQ1

A new version of the Facebook for BlackBerry application has been released that offers better integration with the social networking site. Two standout features: a user’s friends list is kept in sync with the handset’s built-in address book – Facebook avatars show up as called ID, for example – and notifications from the social networking site are “pushed” to the phone’s home screen. Other features offered, not all of which are new, include:
  • Send/receive message or wall posts, pokes and friend requests.
  • Update your status, view and comment on your friends’ status.
  • Share photos from your BlackBerry smartphone with tags/comments and post to Facebook with just one click.
It’s not surprising to see BlackBerry (RIM) continue to improve their Facebook application by offering better integration with the social networking site: I’ve long suggested that social networking, and Facebook in particular, is the killer app for mobile, and RIM were one of the first to recognize this when they begun featuring Facebook in their ad campaigns as the company strove to break into the consumer smartphone market.

Having said that, BlackBerry isn’t the first to link the phone’s address book/calendar with the social networking site or to “push” Facebook notifications directly to the handset. INQ are selling their low-cost ‘smartphone for the masses’, the INQ1 (see review), based on similar functionality, and Palm’s upcoming Pre running webOS also offers deep Facebook integration as part of a feature called “Synergy”.


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