Description: Atrium for Facebook is an alternative app for Android that allows you to connect with your Facebook account. It aims to be a better, more serious Facebook app and that has a UI that fits much in with Android much better. In a nutshell, Atrium simply aims to be a better experience on Android when using Facebook. It has a Holo UI that fits in much better than the blues and whites of Facebook's own app. Below is a list of things that Atrium can do for you Facebookers:
- Instantly see who's online on Facebook;
- Explore your friends' profiles, including photos, videos and timeline;
- Access your groups and pages;
- Share status updates, photos and videos;
- Get notified when friends like and comment on your posts;
- View hi-res photos directly in the news feed;
- One-click access to comments and likes in the news feed;
- Send instant messages to your friends (even when they are offline);
- Express your emotions with cool smileys and rage faces;
- Quickly access your complete Facebook chat history;
- One-click access to your most recent conversations;
- Check-in at interesting places all around the world;
How it Works: Downloading the app from the Play Store is quick and easy and after that, you just need to log in, like you would online.
You'll of course have to give Atrium access to your account, like you would any other app.
Once you're all signed in though, you should feel at home with the news feed at the center of everything.
As you can see it takes full advantage of the tablet interface on my Nexus 7, giving me a list of online friends, my profile and the news feed all in one.
You can still check in like you could do on the default Facebook app and it works very well. So, too does searching for your friends, like our Editor-in-Chief Mr Yackulic:
Sending a message is nice and easy, all you have to do is hit the top-right corner of a friend's page and then type your message out.
When you look at a news post it's well-presented and you can see all the comments below as you would expect:
There are also some great settings you can tweak as well:
Opinion: Facebook has had a rocky relationship with Android over the years, having gone from a memory hogging bloated app to a slightly better native app. All-in-all though, Atrium presents a much better way, especially if you're using an Android tablet to connect to friends online. The UI fits in brilliantly with a Nexus 7 or any other recent tablet and for those of with ten-inchers like the Galaxy Note 10.1 the fact that Atrium makes better use of the extra real estate will be a breath of fresh air. Even if you're not too keen on Facebook, Atrium is easy to use and it's completely free.
- Speed (4/5) – Atrium isn't blazingly fast but, it's certainly faster than the default Facebook app and it clearly takes advantage of speedy hardware.
- Features (4/5) – While Atrium doesn't feature anything earth-shattering it features everything you'd expect and works with Facebook just as you'd expect it to, delivering the same experience but, without the hassle and frustration.
- Theme (4.5/5) – Compared to the dated and boring look of the default Facebook app, Atrium is both refreshing and intuitive to use, even the most casual Facebookers will be able to take to this new app.
- Overall (4/5) – For those frustrated with the default Facebook experience on Android, there's a great alternative available in Atrium and it's completely free.
- Atrium's user interface blends in brilliantly with Android 4.0 and above.
- Everything you could want to do with Facebook is available with Atrium, there's no need to cut corners.
- This is Facebook at its purest; there are still ads but apps and games from others won't bring your experience down.
- For ten-inch tablets, this is a must-have if you're heavily vested in Facebook.
- No way to remove ads, which is great for free apps but, there is an ad-free version available in the Amazon app store.
- Regular Facebook users might not take the time to learn something new.
Conclusion: For the most part, Atrium is just another Facebook app but, in ticks a lot of the right boxes and delivers a much better experience than the default Facebook app. Especially if you're using an Android tablet, with ten-inchers making the most of their extra screen space. Even if you're not that interested in Facebook, Atrium offers a cleaner and more efficient way to connect with friends and family. It's a shame that you can't pay to remove ads but, they're unassuming for the most part and overall, the experience is much better than what Facebook has been offering Android users for years now.