When we released the Facebook app last week we talked about how we wanted to develop a nice cadence of releases. We are writing on webOS, so surely we can get features out on web time right?
When our full developer program went live, our App Catalog began supporting a Beta channel which enables you to get new versions out to a community that is willing to live on the edge.
Today we are launching our first Facebook Beta application. It is only a week after our 1.1 launch, but has some cool new features:
- Facebook Video support: You will now see Facebook videos in your stream and can play them. Facebook started to encode their videos into the H.264 format, and for those that they have encoded, you will be able to watch.
- Shortcut keys: Power users want to be able to access areas in an app as quickly as possible. You can now jump to different sections by holding down the SYM key and: N = news stream, P = photos, S = search, I = inbox, U = your profile, E = events. We have found this particularly handy for Pixi users where the keyboard is always just there.
- Your Comments: You will notice that your comments in a thread are colored Facebook blue to make them stand out.
- Access Updates in Facebook Mail: You can now access the updates messages, joining messages and sent mail
There are also bug fixes and enhanced error checking on the Facebook API side of the house.
What can you expect from Facebook Beta releases?
Beta means beta. These releases are not tested in the same way as full releases, and new features may not be fully internationalized or localized. You get to play with new features that we are working on, and hopefully give us feedback along the way.
You can help us find bugs early, give us ideas on new features, give us real world advice on how certain features and ideas feel, and help us prioritize exactly what you want out of the app.
We will update the beta channel pretty frequently, and the usage will help us cut final releases. You should note that the beta version and full version are on two different channels. You can install both versions, and they update independently.
- Ben and Dion on behalf of the Developer Relations Facebook team