Facebook for iOS review: The best way to look at Facebook on the go

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The Good Facebook is an excellent way to browse the social network while on the go. New photo sharing tools let you send groups of photos much more easily.

The Bad You can't send text messages to friends without a separate app.

The Bottom Line The official Facebook app is, without question, the best way to access the social network from your iOS device.


8.1 Overall
  • Setup 9
  • Features 8
  • Interface 7
  • Performance 9

Review Sections

Editors' note: This review has been updated to give more information about photo sharing features rolled out on October 27.

The Facebook app for iOS lets you browse the popular social-networking site on your iPhone or iPad. The app just got updated with some new features that make it easier to share photos, but recent updates made it run much faster than earlier versions, offering quicker ways to browse through friends' pages, statuses and photos.

While the app is still the best way to browse the social network, the removal of the Messaging portion into a separate app is an inconvenient change for a lot of users. Still, for browsing and posting statuses, it's the go-to app on smartphones, and Facebook continues to release updates that make the app better.

Navigating the app

Across the bottom of the interface, you have buttons to look at your news feed, one to look at friend requests, a chat bubble that opens Facebook Messenger (more on this later) and a globe for notifications. A "More" button to the right of that opens up the sidebar where you can get all the same functions that you would on the Web site. Here you can touch to browse the News Feed, Messages, nearby check-ins, events, groups and any Facebook apps you might use. On your news feed, you have buttons at the top of your feed that you can tap to post a status, add a photo, or check in to a location.

One of the best things about Facebook is the interface for browsing photos. Just tap on a friend's Photos link and you quickly get all of his photo folders. From there you can just tap on a folder to browse. When you view a photo from a folder full-screen, you can swipe sideways to move on to the next picture and swipe up or down to return to the folder. You also can quickly upload a photo from your library or snap a new picture to upload with your iPhone or iPad.

Better photo sharing

In a recent update, Facebook is making it easier to share multiple photos from your phone, just tap the Photo option on the news feed to get started. Facebook will show you all of the photos on your phone or tablet, with the most recent ones at the top. Tap any and all photos you want to upload and you'll see a number on each image, which corresponds to the order in which it will be uploaded and displayed in your post. Once you're done picking your photos, you can rearrange or delete them, add individual captions, tag friends, and add a description to the entire photo set. If you want to add them to an album, you can do that too, but they'll all be added to your Mobile Uploads album automatically.

When you share your photo post, you'll see a collage of your pictures in the news feed. Tap on the collage to open a new page with all of the full-size images, where you can add comments, or like each photo.

All of these elements are laid out to make your most-used actions on Facebook both easy to carry out and much faster than in older versions of the app.

Recent updates added the Share button, more tagging features, and a button for sorting your News Feed to get the stories you want. Tagging features let you tag friends in any post, comment, or photo. Other minor tweaks brought bigger Like, Comment, and Share buttons below each post in your News Feed.

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