Got a new Asus Transformer running Windows 8.1 and I’m really liking it. Except I spend a lot of time on Facebook and am hoping there’s a better alternative than using Facebook through the Web browser. Is there a Facebook app for Win8?
Until recently, my answer would have been “no” since Facebook was incredibly slow in coming out with a Windows 8 app, and even now, I definitely had some hiccups with the current version of the Facebook app on my Windows 8.1 tablet. Still, with a bit of persistence, things do work and the app is pretty well done, though the iPad (iOS) app is considerably better from a user experience perspective. It suggests that there are a lot more iPad users than Windows 8 tablet users, which is certainly born out by the sales data.
The important news is that there is a Windows 8 tablet version of the Facebook app and that it’s available through the Xbox Store. You know, the online store where you get Win8 apps. Why isn’t it called the “windows app store” is something that’s above my pay grade. It just is what it is.
So starting at that point let’s go through the needed steps to install and get Facebook running on your Asus Transformer!
Start at your Start screen. Y’know, like this:
It can be a bit tricky to find, but you want the Xbox Store, which has a tiny shopping bag icon and a green tile. On the above screen, it also shows “PAC-MAN” on the tile.
Tap on it to launch the store:
Definitely worth poking around to see what’s available, but let’s stay on task, shall we?
On the top right, tap into the search box then enter “facebook”. With autocomplete, here’s what you’ll see:
There’s what you want. “Facebook”.
Tap on it and you’ll see the scoop on this particular app:
Got it? Tap on the green “Install” button to proceed and it’ll start the install process.
If you’re like me, you don’t have a credit card on file and it’ll then ask you to fix that problem:
Me? Not so much. So I tap on “Ask me later” and wait for the app to download.
When it’s done, the top right will show this:
Now it’s installed, time to log in to your Facebook account.
The challenge is finding the app! It doesn’t show up on your Start Screen by default, so you’ll need to swipe downward from there to get to the Apps screen.
Here I’ve highlighted it, but they’re alphabetical and new apps say “NEW” too:
Found it? Excellent.
Tap on the app and it’s time to log in:
Here’s where I had all sorts of problems with the app. I’d log in and it’d freeze up. Again and again.
I finally restarted the tablet entirely and this time I logged in and it worked properly.
When you do finally get everything operating properly – and hopefully your experience will be easier than mine – you’ll see one more prompt:
The key thing to consider is that if you run Facebook in background, you’ll get pop-ups and other notifications, but at the cost of battery life and some performance on your tablet. Acceptable? Tap on “Allow”.
If you’d prefer to have Facebook work as a more typical app when it’s only using resources because you’re actively using it, tap on “Don’t allow”.
Either way, make a choice and you’ll finally be up and running in Facebook on your Asus Transformer or other Windows 8.1 tablet PC:
As you can see, a rather sparse layout but it is functional, and if enough people download the app, the Facebook development team might just be motivated to improve it!