We all know that Mark Zuckerberg’s company is a social network steam train that towers above other services of its kind, consuming other businesses and technologies as it continues on its journey of world domination. Perhaps what we didn’t know or expect so soon, is that Apple would board that steam train and integrate Facebook into iOS, but as consumers we are definitely glad they have. The native integration doesn’t remove the need for the official Facebook iOS app, but if you are one of the many users who are baffled by its inability to consistently work then it might be time to look at Facebook in a new light.
The Gabi app for iPhone and iPod touch, recently released into the App Store, is a little piece of kit that looks at Facebook in a different way, moving away from the full social experience and attempts to display the data in a manner that is engaging to the user. It still uses Facebook, it still uses your own personal Facebook account, but it manages to visualize the information in a way that is not only unique but also highly interactive. The idea behind the app and the way the development team have gone about the implementation is extremely clever, resulting in an app that we haven’t really seen before, offering a whole new Facebook experience.
The behind the scenes magic of Gabi, which incidentally all happens inside the device after installation rather than on an external server, is all based around filtering the content and displaying it to the end user. Rather than just throwing out a whole list of dramatic status updates, pictures of people’s evening meals or check-ins at the local swimming pool, Gabi filters the content based on what is relevant to the user and clues connections information that is popular, controversial and most of all; what it believes to be most interesting. The filtered information isn’t restricted to things like status updates, images, text, videos and even things like events and groups, which all add to a very positive on-device experience.
It may seem bizarre, but Gabi presents an extremely social way of flicking through and enjoying a social network as everything that is generated by the app can be commented on and shared back to your own timeline in order to bring your own friends and connections into the experience. Personally speaking, I am not a great lover of Facebook and pretty much stopped using it because of the increasingly poor performance of the official mobile applications. My life is pretty much ran on the move through an iPhone and iPad, and the simple nature of Gabi along with the unique and engaging way the app works, I could again become a Facebooker.
Download Gabi for iPhone and iPod touch [iTunes Link]