Windows 8 has been out and about for a while, but so far there has been no sign of THE social network (the one owned by the mighty Zuck) deigning to grace the OS with an official app. Of course, Facebook addicts can still get their fix by the simplest method of all – heading over to the browser and typing www.Facebook.com. But if you are looking for an ‘appy’ way out of your Facebook blues on your Windows 8 machine, we strongly suggest you give MINE a try.
Available on the Windows Store, MINE for Facebook (yes, that is the complete name of the app) is a 1.84 MB download and installs without any hitches. Once you have logged into the app using your Facebook username and password, you get a screen with two sections – Your Personalized Feeds on the upper portion, and Notifications below them. The Personalized Feeds area has three sub-heads: Your news feed, Status and picture feed and the quaintly named Top friend link and info feed.
Of course, you can just let these be the way they were and the app will serve up your Wall, status and picture updates of your friends and so on, or you can make the most of the app, roll up your sleeves, and sit down and tweak these feeds. Just access the menu by pulling down the upper portion of the app and go to the ‘Manage Your Custom Feeds’’ option. Here you can change the name of the feeds if you wish and even specify what kind of updates (videos, pictures, links, etc.) and which friend’s updates you wish to include under that head. It is a simple, neat touch and actually helps those who have stacks of friends – some more important, and others less so.
What, however, really makes the app rock is the fact that it brings most of Facebook’s functionality in a typically Windows 8 layout. So you have your Wall (which normally shows up in the feed of your choice, depending on your customisation), which you can navigate by swiping from one side to another. Just tap an entry to see it in full form and see comments and likes, and of course, add your own if you wish. You can also access your groups and events if you wish. You can give the app permission to send you notifications, irrespective of the app you are using, and see live updates on its tile on the Windows 8 homescreen. All of it in best Window 8 style, with lots of white space, large images and clear text. There are no ads or friend suggestions to muck up your viewing space.
Yes, it is not perfect. Videos that were shared off YouTube tended to open up in the browser, we could find no way of sharing someone’s status or of sending messages to a contact, and well, those who love Facebook’s apps and games will have to do without them, but still, all said and done, we must admit that we found MINE for Facebook extremely useful for keeping track of activity on our social network. It works smoothly and looks gloriously uncluttered. For everything else, there’s the browser after all!
Available from: Windows Market