Facebook for Zune HD: worth the wait?

zuneFBAppFacebook comes to the Zune HD.  Microsoft finally releases the Facebook application for the Zune HD, which was promptly downloaded by a legion of Facebook happy Zune HD owners.  When initially released, the application failed to work for most who had downloaded and installed the application.  However, as of this writing, that issue seems to have been resolved and not via an update either.  Turns out, the issue was a permissions problem and was resolved by Facebook itself.    The application is pretty useful and may be the catalyst for higher usage by yours truly.  I’ve not been a huge fan of Facebook and rarely think of going there. However, having it on the Zune HD may actually spur its use, at least by me.  While I have it on my Pre, I don’t much care for that implementation and actually like the one on the Zune HD.

The Facebook Zune HD app is fairly basic, but does most of what I would do on the web site. It does not feature the chat function, which is kind of a bummer, but, then again, I’m not a huge fan of chat or the on-screen keyboard on the Zune anyway. 

You have your feed, of course.  It resembles the feed on the web site and is pretty standard.  There is one cool thing about it, though:  to reload/refresh, you just shake the device.  You have your wall, which, again, is pretty straight forward.  Next, your list of friends. The list is presented in a contact style listing. Finally, you have your messages.  Each of these functions is accessible via a row of four icons at the top of the screen. They are almost always there, so navigation is pretty easy.

Each of the major functions has side scrolling menu of features.  For example, tap your home icon for your feed and you have additional functions such as news feed, status updates or photos.  You swipe left or right to move through the menu and tap the feature you wish to use.  You can tap on photos to view them and you can rotate the device to see the photos in landscape.  Links in text will give you the option of opening them in the Zune browser. 

If you are actually listening to music on the device while using the application, you can tap the Zune button while in your news feed to post the song title that you are listening to.

The application is not earth shattering and isn’t the best Facebook application out there, however, it is more convenient than invoking the browser and navigating to the web site. It is pretty responsive once it loads and is easy to use.  Of course, the price is right: it is free and has no pre-roll ad to view. Facebook for Zune HD is a great example of how to do an app on the device. It also proves that the Zune HD is more than just a media player.  Now, if only Microsoft would realize that and fully exploit the device.  Sadly, I don’t think there will be any further development of the hardware Zune.  The recent announcement of the new mobile phone OS from Microsoft seems to have put the final nail in Zune’s coffin.  I hope I am wrong.  Until then, though, go to the Marketplace and download this app if you are a Facebook user.

Oh, yeah, it was worth the wait.

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