Leaked: Facebook's photo sharing iPhone app

Facebook's new iPhone app, rumored to be codenamed "Hovertown", has been leaked to the press. Focusing on taking and sharing photos, the app allows users to take, upload and tag photos in a much simpler interface.

According to TechCrunch, it's unclear as to whether this project will reside in the official Facebook app, or whether it will exist separately. Leaked material suggest it could go either way, which may indicate a current internal conflict on how to best introduce the project.

The new app is simple. Photos are taken, dropped into a bar near the bottom of the screen, and grouped together with a single "Share" button. Photos can now be uploaded in a batch, as well as associated with a single location or event in one action.

The leaked screenshots contradict themselves in some places, which could mean that the UI navigation is still being worked out. One of these areas is with photo browsing. One screenshot shows a calendar view of recent photos, whereas another shows photo albums, and another shows a mix of both photo albums and recent friend tags. Assuming the project sees the light of day, questions like these should hopefully have been answered before launch.

Facebook's app comes soon after the announcement of Twitter integration into iOS 5. While the idea that the new app is a response to that is a valid interpretation, the app also comes at a time when Instagram is slowly but surely picking up users. Either way, Facebook has definitely begun to place more emphasis on mobile sharing, and ideas such as these, are hopefully the start of some innovative new ideas in the Facebook iPhone app.

Image credit: TechCrunch

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14 Comments

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WP7 integration is still a lot nicer. This looks like a waste of space. I am glad however that features are being added to iOS devices - their apps need all of the help they can get.

norseman said,
WP7 integration is still a lot nicer. This looks like a waste of space. I am glad however that features are being added to iOS devices - their apps need all of the help they can get.

I'm an android man but if I had to move to iOS or WP7 based on the apps alone, it would be iOS in a heartbeat. Their apps are doing just fine

norseman said,
WP7 integration is still a lot nicer. This looks like a waste of space. I am glad however that features are being added to iOS devices - their apps need all of the help they can get.
yeah you could easily call it a Facebook phone.

Lets hope they release new versions of the iOS and Android apps simultaneously. They got some excellent feedback from the reddit board so I hope it doesn't go to waste!

Hollow.Droid said,
Lets hope they release new versions of the iOS and Android apps simultaneously. They got some excellent feedback from the reddit board so I hope it doesn't go to waste!

Lets hope that they actually get the Android app working properly. It's waaaaay behind. It can't even cope with the new Facbook messaging inbox.

testman said,

Lets hope that they actually get the Android app working properly. It's waaaaay behind. It can't even cope with the new Facbook messaging inbox.

Yep the facebook dev team even admitted that. For what I've used it for it's pretty decent but certain aspects are definitively lacking.

why doesn't facebook just integrate in with the normal camera app in the way that twitter is with iOS5?

it seems silly to have a completely separate camera app to take pictures just so you can upload them to facebook

Brando212 said,
why doesn't facebook just integrate in with the normal camera app in the way that twitter is with iOS5?

it seems silly to have a completely separate camera app to take pictures just so you can upload them to facebook


Because then that would be going too far with the WP7 meme in iOS 5...

Brando212 said,
why doesn't facebook just integrate in with the normal camera app in the way that twitter is with iOS5?

it seems silly to have a completely separate camera app to take pictures just so you can upload them to facebook

Some sort of plugin like Android has would be a better option

AKA the share this menu thingy

_DP said,

Some sort of plugin like Android has would be a better option

AKA the share this menu thingy


Not to feed the trolls, but iDevices have this menu as well.

_DP said,

Some sort of plugin like Android has would be a better option

AKA the share this menu thingy


It's funny, cos iOS simply looks very limited compared to Android. Just looking at the new iOS5 features is like reading a list of what Android already has. There's nothing wrong with copying at all, but they really need to step it up and get iOS users up to the level at what others are at.

A simple plug-in architecture like Android (like _DP just mentioned) would be brilliant and would mean that you could send a pic to any service that is registered. Why haven't they got this now? It is things like this that has someone like Facebook in two minds on whether to have a sharing feature a separate app or integrated.

As for the actual feature in the article, if it was integrated, it would look nice and neat but cause more trouble for the users (which camera app should they use? Oh I've used the wrong one and I wanted to upload it to Facebook, so I have to fire up Facebook itself to do that. But Facebook app can't take decent pics. Oh what should I do?!). If it was separate, wouldn't be much better, maybe even worse having to go between two apps just to get the job done.

Now can you see why a simple plug-in architecture in the main camera app is clearly a better solution?

testman said,

Now can you see why a simple plug-in architecture in the main camera app is clearly a better solution?

There is a plug-in type architecture as you describe for file types. For instance, a PDF that is opened in Mail App can be sent to GoodReader by pressing the out-of-app button. Or a video file in one app can be opened in VLC.

All camera apps save photos to the "Camera Roll". You can take a picture from any app and then in Facebook App you can always select any picture in your Camera Roll. I frankly don't see the difference and would rather not have applications inserting their app name in a share button from within the camera app unless I have some control over which apps are there and which apps are not. Otherwise every app will think it needs to be there and it will start to look about as useful as the Right-click->New menu in Windows Explorer (or the right-click menu in general).