It seems like forever ago that Facebook promised push notification support in version 3.1 of its incredibly popular iPhone app (iTunes link). Now it has arrived, just in time to usher in 2010. 3.1 brings the promised push notifications, and also the ability to sync your […]


It seems like forever ago that Facebook promised push notification support in version 3.1 of its incredibly popular iPhone app (iTunes link). Now it has arrived, just in time to usher in 2010. 3.1 brings the promised push notifications, and also the ability to sync your Facebook contacts with your iPhone’s Address Book for a more seamless communication experience.

Right away upon opening the app, you’ll be asked if you want to enable push notifications, and you’ll also encounter a dialog box asking you about contact syncing. Turning syncing on will automatically add links to the Facebook profiles of all the people it finds in your address book, and you can also choose to replace the photos for those contacts with their Facebook profile pictures.

As for the push notifications, they apply whenever someone sends you a new message, or whenever you receive a new wall post, friend request, friend confirmation, photo tag, event invitations and updates, and comments. If that seems like a lot, you can go ahead and selectively disable any options you don’t want to receive a push notification about. I’m actually very happy with the implementation. It means I can disable email updates for most of those things. Here’s what it looks like when you receive a message. Not too much info, but it gets the job done.

Contact syncing seems to be a little hiccupy at the moment, but that might only be because I’m also using MobileMe to sync my address book across all computers. It does appear to be working very slowly despite some error messages, though, but I find that the “fb://” format links don’t open anything on the Mac. Probably because the Facebook app developers didn’t count on people who have a desktop syncing system implemented. They automatically launch the FB app on the iPhone, though.

What do you think? Well done, or were you looking for more from Facebook push?

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  1. Very cool.

    I guess FriendSync is no longer needed.

    1. The contact sync sucks. It links to people who are not in my contact list and downloads their pictures and facebook page. I want it off of my phone now. Who the hell do I get in touch with to remove this contact sync bullshit?

    2. How do i disable the push notifications once i have enabled them?

  2. I’m not sure I’d trust *any* iPhone application to sync to my contacts. MobileMe has enough sync issues, the last thing I’d want to do is toss in yet another sync routine.

    Don Montalvo, TX

    1. You are right, this created duplicate contacts that I now cannot remove and the new update didn’t even download my contacts facebook picture. This update is crap… wait it out for another version.

    2. yes, mobileme was really uncomfy 4 me and i returned it ….i do love apple n all their products, but it felt like mobileme was a ring in provider who was really lacking the great service attitude apple has…. not to mention clear instruction on how it worked, unlike apple which alwasy guides u thru the set up of systems

  3. About time! I guess I can turn off the Facebook service on Boxcar, now. Now, if only Tweetie 2 can get push notifications…

    1. Does Box car not push on Tweetie 2? I noticed it on the list of services they provide, but I assumed that ‘Tweetie’ includes any version of Tweetie.

  4. The friends list is pretty useful even without syncing. The handset icon to show you that there is a phone number in their profile is great. You could almost rely on Facebook to keep your contacts updated, but lots of people don’t put their numbers on there.

  5. On push notifications – I got a friend request and never got a push notification. So that is a bit rough. Or the friend request came in before, I am not sure.

    On contact sync – it worked flawless with me. I had no issues, update contacts and contact photos. The names have to match word for word in the address book and Facebook. So best of luck if you have nicknames and / or not last names.

    Other than that, it worked great. Synced with my MobileMe and all the contacts now have pictures in my Address Book.

    Thumbs up from me.

  6. I’m hoping a future update will allow you to link Facebook profiles to contacts with nicknames, the way MyPhone+ does now. Showing you a list, and letting you choose the appropriate match. Suggesting near-matches and the like. Very handy =]:

  7. I can’t find where you edit the settings for the new push notification feature. (whether on my iPhone’s facebook app or on the computer. Anyone know where these settings can be found??

    1. Settings : Notifications : Facebook

      1. ah ha! thank you :)

  8. The pictures that sync to your contacts seem to be extremely low quality. So low, in fact, that the people are unrecognizable when both zoomed and unzoomed.

    1. I agree. Was pritty disappointed with the photo syncing compared to MyPhone+. Hope they fix this.

  9. Where is it exactly that you can selectively disable which notifications that come in. I’m with Christian, i can’t seem to find a settings tab or anything.

    1. Maximus, it’s in the settings of your iPhone itself, not the app. Go to Settings, Notification, then scroll down and you’ll see Facebook.

    2. weel, no. tap “settings” then scroll down to “facebook.” if you go under “notifications” then “facebook,” you’re setting a different kind of notifications.

    3. thx brian, I don’t know why I didn’t figure that out by myself…

  10. What exactly is pushed? I know they have listed, comments, photo tags etc but what exactly…?

    ALL comments? like status, wall post comments, tagged status comments, photo comments?

    ALL photo tags? tags of your own photos (even ones your not in), tags of only photos your in, someone tagging your photo?

    Just so I know what email notifications to turn off, because if they will get pushed I’ll end up getting loads of duplicates.

    Also is there any way to have the sound/vibrate function and just a badge – I dont really want the blue box popping up every so often.

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