Facebook For iPad – Overview

Let me get this out there: I do not like jailbreaking. I tend to stay away from it like a cat avoiding water.

But when I heard that Facebook hid some sort of easter egg in its iPhone application, I decided to take the plunge. How bad could it be? I figured the worst case scenario would be restoring the iPad’s software in iTunes.

Why jailbreak? Well, the easter egg in question was actually Facebook’s long awaited Facebook for iPad app. It turned out that by changing a number in the app’s build, it converts to the iPad version. Pretty cool, no?

If you want to test it out for yourself, there are plenty of guides online. And quoting the ever-wise J.K. Rowling: ” If you have to ask, you will never know. If you know, you need only ask.” (hint)

Now let’s get down to what’s important: the app itself.

It could be the iPad’s bigger screen but the app feels more natural on it compared to the iPhone and similarly to the Twitter app, whenever you switch between landscape and portrait orientations, the app changes its layout accordingly. Not groundbreaking, obviously, but the only thing that changes w/ the iPhone version is the 180 degree switch.

Always present on the bar on top are four different buttons: the first one from the left opens up a sidebar on the left which has quick shortcuts to your news feed, profile, messages, events, places, friend list, photos, as well as some of the groups you joined or were forced to join (what’s up with that by the way?).

The second one opens up a friend request list. The third one opens up your messages and allows you to reply to any new message right there.The last earth-shaped one shows you all your notifications.

Similarly to the iPhone app, your news feed has three additional shortcuts to post a photo, a status or check in places. Sliding your news-feed to the left, in order to have more space to the right, while you’re in landscape mode, gives you a new sidebar: Facebook chat, equipped like the iPhone version with speech bubbles.

Your Facebook profile page is very similar to the way you see it using the regular Facebook website, adding to it the two iPhone shortcuts to post a status or share a picture.

Facebook Places has been given a rather interesting layout where you get to see where your friends have checked in on a map.

You can also see your friend list and albums similarly to the grid layout in iTunes: big thumbnails that feature the album cover or a friend’s profile picture.

Overall, the Facebook for iPad app is pretty neat. Using it is intuitive and it merges the computer version of Facebook and the iPhone version quite well, which is what the iPad is all about: your computer experience in a mobile form.

The app looks nice, as you can see from the below pictures, and I think all the different shortcuts are rather smart. It basically comes down to this: I guess Mark Zuckerberg is eating his words after saying they have no interest in developing an app for the iPad seeing as it’s not a mobile platform. Because from what I’ve seen of the app, they’ve put more work in it than the iPhone version. This can be considered as “beta” and it’s less buggy than the iPhone app I’m using.

Good job Facebook.

Rio – Movie Review

If you want to go for a 90 minutes movie that will give you a blast then Rio is the movie for you.
With the voice talents of Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) and Anne Hathaway (she doesn’t need any introductions, right?), Rio is a very, very fun animated movie.

Blu is a blue macaw parrot who gets caught while still very young and is shipped to the United States where, by an act of fate, the truck his box is on gets hit and his box drops off. Linda, a little girl, finds Blu and takes care of him for the next fifteen yes. The two become inseparable, the best of friends and Linda becomes as dependent on Blu as he is on her.
However, soon enough, Tulio, a scientist, shows up to Linda’s bookstore and tells her they have found a female counterpart for Blu, the last existent male of his species and that they need to fly him down to Rio so both birds can mate.
Linda reluctantly agrees… but Rio De Janeiro is a hostile place, especially for a rare bird like Blu and it is there that the story unfolds.

Jesse Eisenberg does not stray away from The Social Network’s nerdy Mark Zuckerberg persona in this but he is quite awesome as Blu. I daresay, it’s good for him The Social Network was released before Rio because I’m sure we would have all pictured him as the blue bird instead of Zuckerberg had it been the other way around.

Anne Hathaway displays, yet again, amazing versatility even though only her voice-over skills are put to the test in Rio. Her voice adapts extremely well to the flirty, yet resilient bird Jewel.

You will also hear the vocal talents of Leslie Mann, Black Eyed Peas’ frontman Will.i.am, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez…

All in all, Rio is a movie that will entertain you without asking too much mental involvement on your part. It’s hilarious, sentimental and beyond a doubt authentic.

The Social Network – Movie Review

Who hasn’t heard of this movie? Or at least what the movie’s about?


A movie about Facebook could easily have been boring. After all, many of Facebook’s users are boring: useless status updates, posey-pictures, pointless comments…

But get an interesting topic, a director who has already given a cult-hit (Fight Club) and a very, very strong screenplay and the result is riveting.

The movie tells the story of Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and how he made Facebook, the details of his invention, all the “dirt” that we don’t know about, the enemies he made along the way and his ingenuity.

It’s ironic that the person who made Facebook – the most active and important social network today – is really, not a douchebag as the movie portrayed him in some instances to be, but mostly socially awkward.

The movie’s screenplay, written by Aaron Sorkin, is snappy, smart, fast and really engaging. The first few moments of the movie: a conversation between Mark and his girlfriend is purely based on that: dialogue. It’s such an intense dialogue that those few minutes draw you in and from there forward, there’s no dull moment. The movie is mainly talk-driven. And it doesn’t get unbearable.

The movie jumps around time periods. It does not follow the order of how everything happened chronologically but it’s very easy to understand what’s happening. I mean, this is David Fincher, the guy who brought the world Fight Club we’re talking about.

Even though, as I said earlier, Zuckerberg is not portrayed in the best of fashions, he makes up for a riveting character portrayed very well by Jesse Eisenberg. This is his breakthrough role no doubt.

And for those who thought Justin Timberlake was not capable of serious acting performances, this movie will prove you somewhat wrong. He’s not brilliant but not atrocious either.

Andrew Garfield, portraying Zuckerberg’s best friend Eduardo, does an immense job at that. The contrast between his character and Einsenberg’s is so obvious that it’s difficult to think how the characters are friends in the first place.

The soundtrack is hypnotic. Not my favorite soundtrack of the year but a pretty great one no doubt by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Several songs in the movie are not featured in the soundtrack, the main one being the song played in the California night club scene. So if you’ve been searching for it, it’s Sound of Violence by Dennis De Laat. The soundtrack has already won the Golden Globe.

The Social Network is up for 8 Academy Awards, including best picture. It has already won the Golden Globe for best motion picture – drama. It’s one of my favorite movies of the year – and it’s a must watch for every Facebook user.