Mobile FriendFeed – there has to be a better way.

UPDATE: now there is a better way. Benjamin Golub has created ‘FF to go’ which gives you the ability to like and comment on items like the MojiPage widget but whilst also showing you what’s already there. See this post from Louis Gray for more details.

I recently called for a mobile interface in my post “A static FriendFeed is a worthless FriendFeed” which generated a bit of discussion. Loic Le Meur also called FriendFeed out on this via a direct post on the service itself.

After my post I started looking for other options as the FriendFeed page will not allow me to post to the service or add likes and comments to items thus taking away the whole social aspect of the service.

A few people have been using the FriendFeed widget on MojiPage which is a custom start page for mobile devices. MojiPage lets you add a number of widgets to give you functionality from a range of sites all in one place. The FriendFeed widget does let you post likes and comments but has its own limitations: you can only see the title of each entry (no text, comments etc.) and cannot post a direct message. Flicking between the FriendFeed site to read items and then MojiPage to comment on them is incredibly unweildy and frustrating but the only solution we have at present for commenting on existing items – having two browsers installed on my phone does it it a little easier as I have one page open in each.

While MojiPage does enable some sorely lacking functionality it still does not solve the problem of not being able to post messages directly to the service – cue moblf.

FriendFeed via SMS

Moblf logomoblf (mobile life) is a service which let’s you interact with Twitter and FriendFeed via your phone using SMS. Now, Twitter already has a comprehensive mobile setup via the web and text messaging so that side of things is a bit redundant but the ability to post direct messages to FriendFeed from your phone is presently unique.

How it works

Once you are signed up to the service you follow the moblf Twitter account. By sending direct messages to this account via SMS you trigger certain functionality such as getting the next 5 updates on Twitter. Sending a message with your FriendFeed username and remotekey lets you enable FriendFeed interaction via the moblf gateway and are then free to send direct updates to the site service straight from your phone. Full details of the commands can be found on the moblf blog.

The facility is still not available to share items, only to post a message, and it is of course dependant on Twitter being available but it is currently better than nothing.

While these solutions are not particularly user friendly and are still lacking in functionality they do illustrate that direct interaction with FriendFeed from a mobile is achievable. With ever increasing numbers connecting from their mobile devices we need either the FriendFeed team to develop their own web based solution or for someone to combine all these elements in to one site or remote client.

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Mobile FriendFeed – there has to be a better way.

May 21, 2008

8 thoughts on “Mobile FriendFeed – there has to be a better way.

  1. I don't know if I'll try moblf, since it sounds like more hoops than I'm jumping through now just to use MojiPage, and since I can get around the “can't post to FriendFeed” limitation by making a blog post which shows up on FriendFeed. Thanks for letting us know about this option, however.

  2. I agree that it is more hoops than necessary and is not going to appeal to everyone but once set up it's ok – just add the regional SMS number and send a text. It's just a shame that we have to resort to this kind of thing because the service itself isn't yet optimised.

  3. This is too complicated for me. Well, it's not complicated, but it's not how I'm looking to manage FriendFeed on my phone.

  4. Perhaps if (when?) the general interest magazines stop talking about Twitter and start talking about FriendFeed, more people will be induced to develop for the platform.

  5. Good point. I'm happy for what MojiPage has done (their initial version didn't even support comments and likes), and perhaps they just need more resources to get their widget to the next level.

  6. […] FF to go’s integration with FriendFeed is nice and effective. The UI gets plenty of brownie points for being consistent with FriendFeed’s UI. The only thing I’d ask for is the ability to see the services that users are utilizing when I visit their FriendFeed page. Otherwise, it’s honestly a fantastic version FriendFeed formatted for your mobile device without losing out on the great features that FriendFeed offers. More coverage in "Take FriendFeed Mobile With FF To Go" and "Mobile FriendFeed – there has to be a better way". […]

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