Facebook is everywhere these days. With it’s viral marketing approach, it has become the best channel to promote your business and products and is used by almost all the companies. It has got deeper root into our lives and is not only the Social thing that makes us to access Facebook everyday. And people want to use it on the go, they want the updates all the time on their mobile phones. And we have a lot of decent third party and Official apps for that. I still like the Official Facebook Android App though. There are reports out there stating that when looking at smartphone app usage as much as 50% of consumers app time is used in the facebook app.
Sony Ericsson did a great job with Timescape & their Social Phonebook last year on their Xperia Line Up where they managed to stuff all your information on your phone in one single app in a visually appealing 3D card like interface. But it got plagued by the lag and other performance drains like battery and overall system speed. I would account androids framework & resource management for those lag n performance degradation. So, although the idea was great but it never took off as User Experience matters a lot. Users didn’t want to use Timescape just for the fact that it was laggy. I loved the idea anyways. With Social Phonebook combined, it was a great experience. ( And would have been for others if if had not to compromise the speed and general performance. )
And another reason why people hated Timescape was that they thought, it’s just another Facebook & Twitter App, which is delaying the Android updates in their phones. As, last time Sony Ericsson dug deep into Android and tried to create a unique User experience (UXP), which caused them a lot of effort and time to upgrade to a newer Android Version.
Sony Ericsson has well learnt the lesson this time and with the newer Xperia LineUp for this year which includes Xperia Arc, Xperia Play, Xperia Neo, Xperia Pro, Xperia Mini, Xperia Mini Pro. They have got the least customization this time around, and made it pretty clear that this would enable them to upgrade to a newer android version in a timely manner. And we can see the results, they have got a firmware upgrade lined up for Xperia Arc & Xperia Play which would bring it to Latest Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread. But if you are one of those who really liked the idea of Timescape and is a Facebook addict, don’t worry Sony Ericsson would never disappoint you in this regard. They are now combining their own strengths in Music and Entertainment with Facebook to make it more social. This time around, it won’t be tied to a specific app like Timescape, but will be integrated with core phone apps like Phonebook, Music Player, Calender & Gallery. They call it, “Facebook Inside Xperia”
Sony Ericsson is really keen to stress that they will not be producing a Facebook phone, with no Facebook branding on any of its handsets now or in the future. Instead, Facebook Inside Xperia would mean various Facebook features are integrated within the core phone apps. This means the gallery app will show new mobile uploads, albums and photos where you are tagged. The calendar will show Facebook events, and in contacts you can view far more data for your friends – like recently uploaded photos and likes. Finally, the media player is where some of the biggest updates come in, with Sony Ericsson being the first manufacturer to make it possible to like music tracks at the click of a button.
What will this button exactly do to your new Sony Ericssion Xperia Phones? How does it make the “Facebook Inside Xperia” for Sony Ericsson,
• Media Player: While listening to tracks you can “like” and information about your musical preferences are immediately available on your Facebook wall to be viewed by your friends.
• Gallery: You can also integrate Facebook-album directly to the phone gallery.
• Calendar: Synchronize events & friend birthdays from your Facebook account to main Android Calendar.
• Notification: Notification of events in Facebook directly on the lockscreen.
• Phonebook: Integration of Facebook in the phone book. Binding exposure to a particular account.
Other Facebook Inside Xperia integrations:
• Complete end to end social media and music process: Like, share, and buy songs
• Easy access to see what friends are listening to and watching
• Facebook albums and photos integrated into the Xperia gallery application
• See your friends picture, interest and link to profile in your Xperia phonebook
• Facebook Events will synch with the Xperia Calendar
• Facebook notification alerts in the lockscreen to ensure users never miss an update
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.
More of it in the next part..Stay tuned.
[ Update ] : Second Part of the Review now live, read it here, Review-Facebook Inside Xperia Integration in Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo & Pro Video
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