Adobe AIR apps are popping-up everywhere, so it was no surprise to see a full-featured Facebook application show up. What was surprising to me was to see that the developer is Adobe itself. Photo Uploader for Facebook is a multi-platform Facebook desktop application based on Adobe’s AIR technology. And while the name implies that it’s simply a photo uploader, it’s actually more full-featured than that. It’s not going to replace the use of the Web interface completely, but for most users, the app may do everything you need. Photo Uploader for Facebook offers views of your Profile page, Friends list, a Chat page, and of course, your Wall. The Wall page shows status updates of all your friends, as well as gives you the ability to update your status by clicking on your latest status update at the top of the screen.The app updates status at intervals that I couldn’t find a way to customize, but it appears to be fairly frequently. The chat screen works just like the Web-based chat feature does, with the added benefit that you can keep the chat window open and surf to other pages in your browser at the same time. The sidebar in the app window shows status updates, regardless of which view the main part of the window is showing. Quick access to Event Invites, your Inbox, Pokes and Friend Requests are also available via small icons at the top of the sidebar. The Photo Uploader offers basic Facebook integration. Upon clicking the Upload button, you are asked to choose which album you want your image to be uploaded into, or create a new one. Then, you drag & drop, or click the Add Photos button to bring in a single image, or folder full of images into the app’s window. From there, you can crop your image, rotate it, give it a caption, and tag it with keywords. I prefer to use desktop applications, rather than a service’s Web interface in almost all cases. I find them to (usually) be more full featured and easier to work with. I am not, however, a big fan of AIR applications – for a variety of reasons. Photo Uploader for Facebook is a rare exception to my anti-AIR preference. It’s stable, offers plenty of features, and I find the interface to be simple, and a big improvement over Facebook’s Web interface. Photo Uploader for Facebook can be downloaded and used for free from the Adobe AIR Marketplace, where you can find plenty of other AIR applications.
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