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Computers

Current app makes Facebook better on a Mac

Get quick, menu-bar-access to your Facebook messages and improved functionality for Facebook itself, including better photo and video viewing options.

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AppDen

The majority of Facebook users access the site via mobile devices, but if you still check your feed primarily via computer and are on a Mac, the Current for Facebook app can help improve the experience. The Current app costs $1.99 (£1.49 in the UK and AU$2.49 in Australia) in the Mac App Store and delivers added functionality that you don't get from accessing Facebook from a browser.

Current places a premium on accessing your Facebook messages and notifications. It places an icon in the menu bar, from which you can access your messages inbox, see recent notifications and which of your friends are online. When you click on a message header from your inbox, the message conversation opens in its own pop-out window, and you can have multiple message windows open at once.

You can also open a larger window of your News Feed, but the method for doing so isn't obvious. You need to click on the gear icon in the upper-right corner of Current's drop-down window from the menu bar and select New Window (or press Command-N).

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

In addition to supporting the standard Facebook features you use -- like, comment, share -- Current's window for accessing Facebook proper supports multiple tabs, which is highly convenient if you manage multiple pages in addition to your own profile. Another bonus: photos and videos can be expanded out of the News Feed and into their own floating windows. And when you expand a photo into its own window, you can browse the rest of the photos in its album using your arrow keys.

In the app's preferences, you can select where you'd like Current's notifications for new messages, Facebook notifications, and friend requests to appear -- in the dock, menu bar, and notification center. You can also switch the default behavior of opening links as a new tab in the Current window to your default browser.

If you make frequent Facebook visits during the day from a Mac, and particularly if you and your friends use Facebook Messenger to communicate, then Current for Facebook is worth investigating.