More on the New Facebook Places Feature

Last week, Facebook introduced a new feature called “Places” that allows you or your friends geo-tag your location using the GPS in your mobile phone or location aware browser.  Naturally, people either hailed this as a super cool or flipped out and had kittens because “Big Brother” had found a new way to keep tabs on where you go and what you are doing.

The New York Times, has a good article on the new Places feature in Facebook, which is also available in the latest version of the mobile application for Apple’s iPhone.

Moments after Facebook introduced a new feature called Facebook Places on Wednesday that allows its users to share their location and find their friends, advocates raised flags over online privacy.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California cited concerns over the new product, saying Facebook neglected to include several crucial privacy features.

“Places allows your friends to tag you when they check in somewhere, and Facebook makes it very easy to say ‘yes’ to allowing your friends to check in for you,” read the statement, released late Wednesday night. “But when it comes to opting out of that feature, you are only given a ‘not now’ option. ‘No’ isn’t one of the easy options.”

The A.C.L.U. also expressed concern over the integration of Facebook’s Places feature with third-party Web sites and applications.

The Facebook Places privacy settings can be configured via custom settings in your privacy controls.  Android Central has a quick set of directions posted which I linked to last week.  iPhone users who want to keep their locations on the down low can tap the Don’t Allow button that pops up any time an iOS app tries to access the GPS on your iPhone.  (You know, I’m really glad that Steve Jobs insisted on that pop up!)  As of this posting, the Google Android, RIM BlackBerry, and HP Palm webOS clients haven’t been updated to use of the Places feature; but it is only a matter of time before they are updated too.

You can read the full article on The New York Times website.

Facebook for Android Updated, Fixes Battery Drain Issue

Facebook has released version 1.3.1 of their Android client that corrects a battery drain issue.

Recently, the Facebook client for Android devices received a major upgrade from the previous release in the form of the 1.3 update.  However, there was a bug in the background notification system that kept the phone from going to sleep and drained the battery very quickly.

Hit up the Market Place application to get your weekend update action on!

[Via Androinica.com…]

Facebook for iPhone, iPod touch Updated to 3.1.3

Yesterday, an update for iOS (formerly known as iPhone OS) was released to the Apple App Store.

The main improvements for Facebook 3.1.3 is the ability to watch videos, writing on event walls, and a change in how wide uploaded photos can be (now 720 pixels wide).

You can update to Facebook version 3.1.3 by hitting the App Store icon on your iPhone or iPod touch, or by using iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC.

iPad owners: the iPhone/iPod touch application will work on your device in low res mode. While you can scale it up to 2x mode, in my opinion, the text looks terrible. I still recommend that you use Safari to browse to the full Facebook website.

Facebook App for webOS 1.2.0

The new Facebook client adds Facebook updates to webOS so you can receive Facebook notifications in the webOS notifications area. (See the image below to see what the notifications for Facebook looks like.)

I’m not the biggest Facebook user, but I did install the update yesterday and I think Facebook users (fanatics or not) will like the new feature. With this release of Facebook , I believe that the Palm webOS client is on par with the iPhone OS client in everyway. Way to go Palm!

If you have an earlier version of the webOS Facebook app, you can upgrade to version 1.2.0 using the Updates application. If you don’t have the Facebook app installed on your Palm Pre or Pixi, you can get it today from the App Catalog.