BlackBerry has released its new and improved Facebook Application «BlackBerry v2.0 beta app« for their Smartphones with new and improved features includes; native contacts, phone, and SMS apps; adds some new feature to chat and profiles; and makes it compatible with the outdated BlackBerry Device Software v5.0. These changes and enhancements underscore Facebook’s increasing role as an aggregator of contact information that augments one’s own phonebook.
Facebook for BlackBerry v2.0 can now click on BlackBerry PINs, phone numbers and email addresses they see on Facebook wall posts or profiles to open a menu of options for using that contact information with the device’s native apps. Users can add data to their contacts, call or SMS phone numbers, send an email to clicked address, or send a BlackBerry Message to a PIN. The interface works well than that of Facebook for iPhone, which automatically takes the corresponding action when contact info is clicked, rather than giving the option to save the information for later.
The app has also improved the Chat experience by letting users see if their conversation partner is currently typing another feature lacking from Facebook for iPhone and some other native apps. Users can also search their friend lists to find chat partners quickly. In terms of performance, BlackBerry reports that it has improved Chat connection, shortened online contacts list loading time, and made Chat message delivery notifications more consistent.
The refreshed beta app is now available to registered BlackBerry Beta Zone users, and the new features will likely appear in the official version of the app when it’s released. It’s impressive to see BlackBerry one upping in some way the Facebook for iPhone app. While it still lacks some major features present on the iOS app including Groups, the company’s mobile development team appears to be focusing on deepening the Facebook integration with BlackBerry’s core value proposition contact organization.
As mentioned above, BlackBerry has also added following performance enhancements to Facebook for BlackBerry smartphones v2.0:
- Improved Facebook Chat connection.
- Cursor no longer disappears while scrolling through the News Feed.
- Consistent Chat message delivery notifications.
- Improved Online Contacts list loading time.
To download the latest beta version of Facebook for BlackBerry Smartphones v2.0, you need to register to become a BlackBerry Beta Zone member. Please note that you must reside in one of the countries listed here in order to participate in the beta.