Faster, Leaner, Better – Alternatives To The Android Facebook App

Android App Facebook Alternatives Intro   Faster, Leaner, Better   Alternatives To The Android Facebook AppOh, the joys of having social media available to us at any time of day thanks to the advent of the smartphone. Facebook has always been (at least on the surface) about connecting with your friends and family and staying updated without having to meet up in person every few days. And in that sense, mobile Facebook apps have ushered in a new era of information convenience.

But when it comes to Android, the official Facebook app is not perfect. Depending on your device, it may be slow or glitchy or downright unusable. However, not all is lost. The beauty of Google Play is that numerous alternative Android Facebook apps abound. So the real question is: do any of these alternatives improve on the official Facebook app?

Atrium

android facebook atrium   Faster, Leaner, Better   Alternatives To The Android Facebook App

Overview: Just based off of my first impressions, Atrium seems like it’s trying to be the replacement for the default Facebook Android app. The interface and feature set looks pretty similar, so if you’re looking for an almost-identical copy with fewer bugs and better performance, Atrium may be your choice. Plus, it’s entirely FREE.

Pros: Extremely good performance. My device is approximately three years old and Atrium ran as smoothly as I could’ve asked. The interface is intuitive, smartly designed, and minimal without being ugly or plain. Lots of customization available, though I’m particularly fond of the “load images over WiFi only” and “don’t run in background” options.

Cons: As hard as I try, I honestly cannot find any flaws with this app. I’ve heard that some devices may have problems logging into Facebook, but it seems like a rare enough occurrence that it might just be user error.

Overall: A

Friendcaster

android facebook friendcaster   Faster, Leaner, Better   Alternatives To The Android Facebook App

Overview: Friendcaster has been around for a while, currently on version 5.0 and boasting over 3 million downloads since its debut. As far as I can tell, the developers have a serious focus on performance over eye candy.

Pros: As soon as I logged in, Friendcaster walked me through with a setup wizard. One unique feature (as of right now) is that Friendcaster has push notifications for Facebook alerts when no other app has it. Personally, I love the sleek and simple interface; it actually makes me want to use this alternative Android Facebook app. Supports multiple Facebook accounts for ease of switching.

Cons: Like Atrium, some users may have trouble logging into Facebook with Friendcaster. The push notifications may glitch every once in a while. Similarly, the app may crash when you scroll through too many news feed posts.

Overall: A-

Stream

android facebook stream   Faster, Leaner, Better   Alternatives To The Android Facebook App

Overview: I actually went into Stream thinking that it’d be a huge disappointment. I’ve heard many good things about it, but I was immediately put off by its subpar aesthetics. But I’m glad I gave it a deeper look because this app has some good stuff going for it.

Pros: Stream is fast. Really fast. Even after I’d loaded a multiple pages of my news feed, I could scroll and scroll and scroll without any hiccups or freezes. This app also has all of the standard features you could want from Facebook: notifications, search, comments and pages, checkins, etc. Plus, you can customize a lot of settings to maximize performance, like turning off background updates.

Cons: Like I mentioned before, Stream doesn’t have the prettiest interface. The design and layout are all right, but the colors are either too garish or too muted or too cramped depending on which part of the app you’re using. You may experience login troubles and crashes depending on your device. If you don’t like ads or if you really need Facebook’s Chat feature, then you’ll need to pay $3.24 USD for the Pro version.

Overall: B+

Fast Beta

android facebook fast   Faster, Leaner, Better   Alternatives To The Android Facebook App

Overview: Fast is one of the newer apps in the Android Facebook market and it has made some big splashes with its presence. It’s currently in beta so you shouldn’t expect a perfect app, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a shoddy piece of work either – in fact, it has a bunch of great features and looks very polished. If you don’t like it as it is right now, do keep your eye on its progress because there’s a lot of potential here.

Pros: Extremely polished interface that looks modern and feels pleasant to navigate. Fast handles all of the basic and necessary features of Facebook (notifications, messages, walls, search, albums, etc.). Lots of progress in a short amount of time, which bodes well for future versions.

Cons: Despite the pretty aesthetics, Fast does not perform well in terms of speed and responsiveness, which is to be expected for an app in beta. I did experience some problems with image loading and zooming. Ad-supported in the free version, though you can get rid of them by paying $1.95 USD for the Pro version.

Overall: B

Conclusion

To be honest, I try not to use Facebook (or any social media) while on the go because the activity can be addictive and might quickly snowball out of hand. However, these alternative Android Facebook apps have really made me reconsider my stance because most of them have made the experience so much easier than the default app.

If you like Facebook on your Android, I highly recommend checking out the above apps. If there are any other Android Facebook apps that you think belong on this list, share them with us in the comments!

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36 Comments -

6 votes

Tony Karakashian

Decided to give Atrium a shot as the Facebook app is just getting ridiculous with performance…overall, looks like a nice app. The usage was a bit cumbersome, though. For example, to get to my groups, I have to bring up the menu, select groups, scroll through the list of groups, then select my group. On the whole, it seemed to take as long to get to any particular thing as it does on the Facebook app, the primary difference being with the official app, you’re just waiting. With Atrium, you’re doing all the work.

I could, however, almost live with it if it weren’t for the HUGE showstopper (for me, anyway): it’s not in the Android share menu! 90% of what I use FB for is sharing pics of my kids with the family. Why would I close out of the camera, load Atrium, navigate to the upload page…etc, when I could just share right from the photo? I was amazed to see this basic functionality missing.

In the end, I uninstalled after only a few minutes as it doesn’t meet my most basic of needs. I’ll give Friendcaster another shot to see if I can recall why it is I switched away from them the last time…

0 votes

Joel Lee

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Atrium. That’s not a feature that I often use, so I completely glossed over it! Perhaps you could send in a feature suggestion to the devs? Hopefully you can find a suitable alternative in the meantime.

5 votes

Chris Marcoe

I’m gonna have to look into one of these. Well, all of them, and see which one I like. Because I really can’t stand the regular Facebook app.

5 votes

Louis Wang

I personally just use the mobile website version of Facebook now on my phone. Apparently the Facebook API for 3rd party apps does not allow them to access all the posts in the news feed so there will be missing posts… and the official FB app is just horrible and slow.

5 votes

Nevzat A

I’m using the mobile Facebook site on the browser.

Pros : No background services, no extra RAM taken when not using Facebook, faster, I can use Maxthon browser’s great “Night mode” and use the dark background and save battery when spending the time on Facebook.

Cons : A little harder to use, I can’t use the Android sharing menu to post pictures, articles and such from other installed apps, no integrated notifications, not so great looking comparing to a native app.

0 votes

techguyknows

These amazing applications can reduce clogging on my phone, especially old phones which have little memory.

0 votes

Tic Tac

defiantly will give them a try with my new device

0 votes

Scott M

I have begun to use the social apps less and less.If there is anything important I wish friends to know of I send a link through Email.They and myself are finding it difficult to wade through the dross to access any treasure.

5 votes

Svenja

Great post!
I’m using this app to post to my Facebook profile and Facebook page simultaneously:
http://alternativeto.net/software/polarbear–post-to-multiple-networks-and-blogs-at-once-/

0 votes

Joel Lee

Thanks for sharing!

0 votes

Marcelo Velazquez

I thinks fastbook could be added to the list too.

5 votes

DalSan M

I have been a user of Friendcaster Pro for quite a while and have been recommending it over the Official Facebook app because of its simple but powerful features. There is a Zip It feature so you can stop liked pages, game requests, and people in your list from spamming your news feed stream. The are some bugs like crashing while scrolling through the news feed or looking at pictures, but I would rather put up with that once in a while instead of the official (cr)app.

5 votes

Jules R

I tried out Atrium on my tablet. I’ve noticed that it’s performance is superbly greater than the Facebook app. It’s great all-around, but there is one thing that pulls me away from using Atrium. It doesn’t support conversations/group chats. You can only send a message to a single person.

0 votes

Joel Lee

Yeah, Atrium is still catching up with some features. You should suggest it to the app dev in case they haven’t heard any requests for group chat yet!

5 votes

Mark LaFlamme

I love Stream. Tried them all and found none as smooth and hassle free as this one. I’ve been with it for six months now with virtually no problems.

5 votes

Hon

Sweet article.

Hated the way the FB app worked, but didn’t know there were alternatives out there.
Only thing I would’ve wanted is a set of QR codes to scan. (Cuz I’m lazy… oh, so lazy.)

Thanks again!

0 votes

Joel Lee

Never thought about QR codes but I’ll consider them for the future. :D

0 votes

cicas

just click on the link hidden in the name of each app in this article and then click install on google play – super easy :)

0 votes

Christine

I really like the Facebook atrium app.but I do have one question. Is there anyway to take you offline? Thank you for the information.

5 votes

Amel

Well there is this cool widget that lets me update statuses superfast..\no need for a heavy app..
‘Facebook status update Widget’
here https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=facebook.widget.status.update.android.fwidget.fidget

0 votes

Joel Lee

That does seem useful for frequent updaters. Thanks for the heads up!

0 votes

Ken E Baker

I really like Atrium’s look, but it seems like they have now included ads in the app. A nice fat ad flashes at the bottom of the screen while you are using the app. It is so distracting! There is not even a paid version. Love the look, but the distracting ad makes it virtually unusable for me.

0 votes

Mike Jefferson

I totally agree, it’s a shame they’ve added ads. I’d rather pay for an ad-free version. I’d also like to be able to open links directly from the newsfeed, instead of having to open the actual news post first.

0 votes

Andrew

If you’re rooted..
Just install lucky patcher and remove the ads. so simple.

0 votes

Andrew

If you’re rooted..
Just install lucky patcher and remove the ads. so simple.

0 votes

Andrew

If you’re rooted..
Just install lucky patcher and remove the ads. so simple.

0 votes

Andrew

If you’re rooted..
Just install lucky patcher and remove the ads. so simple.

0 votes

Andrew

If you’re rooted..
Just install lucky patcher and remove the ads. so simple.

0 votes

Amanda

Installed Atrium and as soon as I hit “connect to Facebook” I get an error and am unable login. So it’s not user error.

0 votes

JJ

You can add Spatio and Flipster to the list.
Spatio has a beautiful UI, but Flipster has more features.
Hopefully Spatio will catch up.

0 votes

paul

Hi, Fast is out of beta, can you write a new article?

1 votes

Stefano

I found also an app called KLYPH that uses Google+ UI as Facebook client. Didn’t test it yet though…

1 votes

locolyric

Just try klyph. Nice interface. Hope there is a widget for the apps. Like friendcaster.

0 votes

Joel L

It’s still pretty new so I’ll probably wait a little while before giving it a full review, but I had a quick overview of it and it looks nice. It will definitely be in my list of apps to consider next time. Thanks!

0 votes

vkrissz

There is a very new alternative to the Facebook app.
Simple and easy to use.
Use it while you are using any other app: Facebook SideBar
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=hu.vkrissz.facebook.sidebar

0 votes

Mike of IDS Productions

Atrium is terrible! Its messy, overcomplicated and it has ads! FAIL