Facebook updated their app for Android to version 1.5 today, and brought with it the ability to chat with all your Facebook friends. Also included in this version are push notifications along with various bug fixes. But it’s the chat that really makes this version stand out from all the prior versions.
For their first iteration of chat on Android, Facebook looks like they’ve nailed the interface and experience with “offset speech bubbles” next to profile pics to clearly and elegantly display the conversation.
I have my Facebook app set to pull data every four hours. Chat isn’t any good if it’s pulled on a schedule, it has to happen fast and in real-time. To remedy that, Facebook (finally!) added in push notifications.
Ironically, the Refresh interval in the app settings still includes the intervals that we’ve come to expect (30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 4 hours, and Never), which leads me to believe that push notifications may only be for chat conversations, and don’t apply to other data.
Facebook version 1.5.0 requires a manual update and is free in the Android Market.