Continuing with the first part of Review about the Facebook Inside Xperia Integration in the new series of Sony Ericsson Xperia Phones in 2011. Read the First Part of the Review of Facebook Inside Xperia Integration – How Timescape & USP Evolved,
Lets get down to all of Facebook Inside Xperia, one by one,
– Facebook Single Sign on
When you first turn on your phone and set it up for your first use, it would ask you for your Facebook username and Password. You can always skip this and set it up later as other settings at the Startup of your phone. Single sign on would mean, you need not put in your username & password for facebook for accessing it anywhere on your phone. Not in Timescape, not in Gallery, not in calender not in Phonebook, not in Music Player. But you would obviously need to enter your Facebook userid and password if you decide to use any third party Facebook App from Android Market. Although, this is nothing ground breaking, but would surely simplify users experience.
– Contact Sync with Facebook
Many third party android phonebook apps and even the Social Phonebook on previous Xperia Lineup had the Facebook Contact Sync. But Sony Ericsson has made it more engaging this time by not only syncing Facebook pics & Status updates, it would also sync your friends Pics, Interests & their Birthdays. And this isn’t it. Check out the Screenshots to get a better understanding of what i mean.
You can see more your friends in the your Contacts now. You can view all your friends album in the contact details, with all other friends tagged in that album. You can directly tag them or even add a comment to your Friends pics right from your phonebook. This will also include another field in Contact details, where you can view the Interests of your Friend. It is collection of feeds of the pages and Likes by your friends. So, this time around Phonebook got more use to it. You just won’t find a contact in your phonebook to dial him, you would probably spend a few minutes to check out on what is he/she is upto these days? 🙂
– Calendar Sync with Facebook
Facebook Events & Calendar is now synced with your Android calendar. You simply can’t miss any of your friends birthday, and you would have no reason to miss it. With Facebook events & calender being synced, it would mean you get a more efficient and managed calender on your phones.
– Facebook LockScreen Notifications
LockScreen is evolving more and more these days and many manufacturers have decided to put up Missed calls & SMS notifications on the Lockscreen to make it more useful for users. With Facebook Inside Xperia, SE decided to put up your Facebook notifications right next to these Missed Calls & SMS notifications on the LockScreen. 🙂
– Facebook Albums in your 3D Android Gallery
Your 3D Android Default gallery is already linked up with your Picassa Album, but Sony Ericsson also manged to put your
all Facebook Albums in the 3D Android Gallery. It will include all your Facebook Albums incuding the ones you Uploaded
through your phone and the ones you are tagged in. You can even see the comments on your pics and add comment to it in a similar way you did at the Phonebook for your friends.
Although, you can’t view your friends pic in the same 3D gallery, you’ll have to go into the Phonebook and look into the Contact details to get their all Facebook Albums. I wonder how much of SD Card space will it consume, if i decide to view
all my friends albums? Heres a screenshot of it,
– Music player Like-button
Sony Ericsson is first manufacturer to make it possible to like music tracks at the click of a button. It is a bit complex to what i understand, not on how users will use it, but how the services are used to make it work. They have added a Facebook Like button, in the music player and while listening to your fav music, you can simply click on this like button to post an update on your facebook. This would post a link in your facebook wall about the song, and if any of your friends like what you are listeneing to they can comment on it and you can have direct access to those comments on your music player itself. Clicking on the link can sometimes directly enable them to listen to the music you are/were listening to, of course that depends on the music type free/paid. If they like to buy it or want to know more about the song, they can click the link which will direct them to a new TrackID webpage designed for this service only, where you can learn about a song or even buy it from the PlayNow Arena. 🙂
– Media Discovery Widget
If you are familiar with the Flimstrip at the bottom of the new Official Facebook app, you might find this widget similar. This does exactly the same thing as flimstrip on bottom of the latest update to Android Facebook app. It will show you the music & Videos that your friends have shared or recommended in their wall. This is pretty handy. 🙂
Everything your friends shares on his wall like Youtube, Lastfm, Spotify and similar services appear as feeds with no of comments on this Media Discover Widget. You also get to access all the comments on those links and you can even add yours.
To be fair, the integration is pretty hidden, so you just have FB adding content to the gallery, contacts app and calendar. And you don’t really have to use it. Sony Ericsson is smart enough to put toggle to each function listed above so that you can turn them on and off and use the only ones you like. There is lot to experience than to read about it. This time the integration is pretty neatly done. It’s pretty non intrusive as i said, you have the possibility to turn specific features on or off as you like. This time around, it’s not just about posting updates to facebook, it’s more engaging and more fun. You know what your friends are upto, exactly the way Social Networking is meant to be. And by integrating the Like button in Music player is a bold step to merge their Strengths in Media & Entertainment with Android and making it more social at the same time.
To better Understand these, features heres a short video demo on Xperia Arc about the Facebook Inside Xperia, do let us know what do you think about these features on your phone and how would you use it. For now, enjoy the video,
Adding a ‘like’ button in the media player is a first, but I am not sure how many people really will want to post on Facebook what they like – or do so very often. This also gives some fuel to rumor mill & myths like,
– All the Pics i take will automatically be uploaded to my Facebook Account.
– All the music i hear will automatically be posted to my Facebook Wall.
– It will eat up my battery running in the background.
– It will again make the Android updates slow and will not get updates beyond Gingerbread in Xperia Arc & Play
– It will slow down the general performance of my Xperia Phone.
– It will also come to Xperia X10 with Android 2.3, Gingerbread Update. ( I wish this was true! For now, it’s not true,
hope SE changes it’s mind! )