Last week, thanks to Battery Indicator - a free application for Android phones that monitors and keeps a record of all apps and services that affect the handset's battery life, my suspicions about the official Facebook for Android application being a battery hog were - sort of - confirmed.
I left the app along with several others running idle overnight and when I checked Battery Indicator in the morning, it showed that Facebook for Android - even with Notifications turned off - was responsible for 33% of the battery drain; that's more than cellular standby and Android OS itself combined!
Now, I know I need to do more tests to be absolutely certain about my hypothesis. But off hand, I'm convinced that by logging off the official app or by uninstalling it altogether, I can increase my phone's uptime. And that's exactly what happened when I used these two apps in lieu of the one from Facebook itself.
1. Friendcaster for Facebook by OneLouder Apps
This one's currently my favorite Facebook app for any platform. Aside from the fact that it loads really fast and it doesn't eat too much battery, it offers more privacy options when posting status updates, lets you choose or create albums where you can upload your photos, and allows you to copy and share your friends' status updates - among other things that the official app can't even do.
2. Fast for Facebook (Beta) by Team2Soft
The name itself will tell you what's hot about it. Friendcaster already loads really fast but Fast for Facebook is - well - even faster. The app does that by leaving out unnecessary design elements and by limiting the size of photos uploaded by friends or pages to mere thumbnails. In the process, of course, it becomes more energy-efficient. Also, if you're using an entry-level or older model Android phone, or if you want to save on mobile data while browsing Facebook, I think Fast is definitely for you.
So there you go. Download these apps and let me know what you think about them.