The Verge

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The Verge - Ellis Hamburger This just in: Paper is the best Facebook app ever

This is not a review. This is just an overview and first impression. For a real review, check out the above link, and be sure to watch the video that the Verge put together. Here are my thoughts:

This is indeed the best Facebook app ever. Unfortunately, that says very little, as Facebook has set a very low bar in the mobile arena. Don't let Facebook's past efforts fool you though. This is a very good app with a lot of great ideas that are well implemented. Not only does it look good, it works very well. Navigation is fast and fluid. 

I am not a big fan of Facebook. Even so, this app is a fantastic way to reconnect with the people in your feed, and with a higher level of engagement. It invites you to take a little more time and dig just a little deeper. It slows down the process of flipping through your feed, but in a good way, a meaningful way. If you are used to the way the official Facebook app works, this is a major departure. It won't take long before it feels more natural than what you are used to. Soon after that, you will be wondering why this is not the official app. 

One of the big reasons it is not the official app is because it is iPhone only. I don't just mean that there is no iPad app, which there isn't. I mean that it is only available for the iPhone. Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry need not apply. Android users must be particularly confused. Their platform of choice has all that marketshare. Yet they are always left hanging for the newest, most interesting, most innovative apps to find their way to Android some time in the uncertain future, if at all. This is yet another example. 

As I said, this is not a review, and there are plenty of features I have not bothered to mention, such as customizable news feeds nicely presented. The app is not perfect. If you were hoping for options to enlarge the font to make things more readable on that tiny screen, look elsewhere. Not only did Facebook neglect that, they didn't even bother to make it VoiceOver compatible. Low-vision and blind users need not apply. There is much room for improvement. 

That said, this is a very slick, well devised app for keeping up with the Joneses, and whomever else is in your news feed. It seems to be ad free, so get a copy of it before they change their minds.

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David Johnson

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