MB Notifications Tutorial

MB Notifications for Facebook grew and improved a lot since its shy birth months ago. Many settings and features have been added since, and so some may get confused. This is a quick tutorial to getting started and using the features you'll learn to love in the app!

Some features are available in both the versions of the app, while some (well, most) only in the paid version. The tutorial applies to both version, though, so whatever you're using keep reading! If you're a free user and are amazed about how many things you can do spending that buck, what are you waiting for, hurry here!

Authorizing the app

As for all Facebook-related apps, this app also needs an authorization/authentication step. This process basically asks you to authorize the app to do something for you, that is getting notifications, post/comment when you tell it to, and so on. This step is automatically promped as soon as you install the app.

Authorize me!

Authorizing the app should be quite straightforward: just insert your Facebook credentials (remember you're giving them to Facebook itself, not the app, so don't worry...) and tap on Allow.

Some users have encountered some problems authorizing the app normally: in case you're one of them, refer to the alternative approach described here.

Do this, but please don't do that!

Yeah!

OK, so you've authorized the app! Now what?

Well, now it's time to configure it a bit, to make it behave exactly like you want it to. Do you want status bar notifications? or popups? what should be in them? how should notifications be reported? it's all in there!

Configuration

You'll notice there are a lot of settings but don't be afraid: they're all categorized and should be easy to understand. Nevertheless, here's a quick description of the most important features.

General settings

Some general settings can be found here. It's usually safe to keep the defaults here, but feel free to change something in there. Just remember that disabling software updates will keep you out of the cool features I add from time to time (beside the fact that the app will stop working if you have a too old version of the app). Besides, disabling caching for pictures will consume much more bandwidth than needed.

Facebook Settings

This section is devoted to some general aspects associated with notifications. You'll be able to configure how often to look for notifications (default being 10 minutes), if you want the app to be aware of when a network becomes available to start checking and sleep otherwise (Juice Defender mode), how to open notifications when you're viewing them in the app (more on that later), if the app must go to sleep with you at night (Night mode) and if the app must ask you for a confirmation at any active action like commenting, posting, sharing etc. you try to perform from within the app (Confirm actions).

Events to notify

Ok, now let's get to the important stuff: what should the app tell you about? The app can notify you about all sort of things: generic notifications, friend requests, pokes, friends getting online or removing you from their friends list and so on, but are you really interested in all of them? If you rarely get any poke or just don't use them, for instance, you may want to disable pokes from the events to notify. Just pick what you're interested in and the app won't bother you with the rest.

You'll notice a "Filter close friends notifications" in the list: as you may know, general notifications lately also include notifications from friends you added to the "Close Friends" list on Facebook. If you usually get too many of them and don't want to receive them in the app as well, just enable that checkbox and the app will silently mark them as read and hide them for you.

Notification bar settings

Now that we've decided what to be notified about, how should we get notified about it? The default option is, of course, the status bar. In this section you can configure if and how status bar notifications should behave, that is, which subset of the events to notify should be reported in the status bar, how notifications should behave (icons, LED, vibration, sound), what should happen when you tap on a notification in the status bar and whether or not clearing a status bar notification should also mark them as read.

Configure this section to your liking and then try the Test to see if this fits you.

Popup dialog settings

Besides the status bar, you can also get notifications as popups. Status bar and popups are not mutually exclusive, you can enable them both and for the same stuff so don't be afraid! You may want, for instance, to open all notifications in the status bar, but get private messages as popups, or whatever other combination you like. Settings here are similar to the previous section, with the difference that for the popup you can also choose what should happen if the screen is off and/or locked.

Configure this section to your liking and then try the Test to see if this fits you.

Facebook account

You should ONLY use this section if you want to remove your Facebook account from the app, for instance if you changed Facebook account and want to start using the app accordingly from now on. Hitting that dreary button, in fact, will reset your authorization, meaning you'll have to start over again.

Done! Now what?

Done!

Now that you've configured the app, you're up and running! The app has already started looking for notifications for you! Of course, this doesn't mean the app has no more surprises for you, quite the opposite... there are many more things the app can do for you, like widgets, the ability to block spammy notifications or commenting that notification you received and you can't be silent about! And much more of course...

Let's see how those things work.

Wow, I got a notification!

When the app finds one of more notifications for you, according to how you configured the application you may get them reported as status bar notifications...

Status bar notification

...and or by means of a popup.

Popup notification

If you chose an external app to open the notifications, that app will open when you choose to open the notification. If instead you left the default, that is the app itself, a view of all the managed notifications will be displayed.

Notifications in the app

From here you'll be able to effectively manage all those notifications. You may mark them as read individually or in bulk, remove them. You can even read them and interact with them if you want to like or comment a post, or maybe reshare a link you liked (more on that later). Long tap on a notification for the available options.

Got one of those annoying Spammyville notifications and don't want to ever hear from them again? Check the Blocking feature later on in this page!

Oh no, not a C****yville notification again!

We've all been there: no matter who you are, where you live or how careful you are about picking your friends on Facebook, you'll end up receiving a notification about some annoying game. Multiply this for N games out there and M friends playing them, you may start opening Facebook just to remove them all!

Well, luckily for you, I hate that stuff and I thought about you (how COOL am I??). If you want to block an application and don't be notified about it, just long tap on the related notification you received, and choose Block application. This will instruct the app to put that application in a blacklist and automatically ignore, mark as read and hide all notifications associated with it.

Feel guilty about blocking it and changed your mind? No problem! Just hit the menu key in the app and choose the Blocked applications list. This will display a list of all the applications the app is handling: unchecking an application will unblock it, and the app will start notifying you about it again. You can block/unclock each application at any time, so feel free to play with it.

Widgets, widgets, everywhere!

Widgets!!

Do you like widgets? well, you wouldn't have bought an Android phone if you didn't, would you!

I like widgets as well, and so prepared a set of juicy widgets for you to use! There are three sizes available: 1x1, 2x1 and 4x1. Adding a new widget to your homescreen will display a configuration dialog. All the widgets can be configured to display a count of unread notifications divided by category, and you can choose how those notifications should be opened when the widget is touched. The 1x1 widget can also be configured to manually look for notifications or temporarily disable/re-enable the periodic retrieval of notifications, instead.

You can add as many as you want on your homescreen, so feel free to experiment!

Who's there?

I don't chat a lot on Facebook (I know, I'm a bear) but a lot of you do. So what's cooler than to know who's online on Facebook? As you may have noticed in the settings, you can be notified about that too, and without even being online yourself!

You can see a list of all online users either by tapping on a related notification when you receive it, or by hitting the menu key when in the app and choosing Friends and Chat.

Chat time!

Tapping on a friend in the list will allow you to either open their profile (if you want to write something on their wall, for instance) or chat with them. No chat feature is provided by this app natively, so choosing the Chat option will open an external application of your choice to do so.

I thought they liked me!

Believe me, but not too much

Wait! There's a Lost friends too?? Of course there is! Because everyone of us wants to know if this or that friend removes us from their friends list... well, my app tells you about that stuff as well! Just beware that it is not 100% reliable: it may, from time to time, tell you about friends that removed you while they actually didn't... this is due to a limitation in the Facebook API so, before insulting the poor friend (or me!), first make sure the app got it right!

I'm funny and I want to update my status!

Of course you do! See that icon in the lower right part of the screen when you open the app?

Hey stuff I can do!

Touch it and a list of controls (that is, stuff you can do!) will appear.

Wow that's a LOT of stuff!

To update your status, just tap on the pen icon at the left end of the controls, and a dialog will appear.

Yes I am

Just write your status message and hit Post, and all your friends will see how funny you are! The message will be posted as a status message on your feed.

Can I read the news, my feed or browse my albums as well?

Of course you can! Open those controls again as you did before.

Yay

The first icon, as we've seen, allows you to update your status. The second icon (the Home one) brings you to your news instead, while the third icon (the Man figure) opens your feed/wall; finaly, the fourth icon (the People icon) opens your friends list and the fifth and last icon (the Pictures one) points to your own albums. It's just as easy as that!

Where are my pictures/videos?

You're looking for the last icons in the first row: the first icon (the pretty mountains) will bring you to your albums, while the following picture (the play one) will open the list of videos you've been tagged in (yes, not all videos you uploaded, but only those you've been tagged in).

The same icons also appear whenever you open someone else's profile, with the difference that in that case they'll bring you to that users's albums or tagged videos. Please beware that opening those lists may not work as expected for all users: the Graph API has very strict permissions constraints, which means that sometimes it might prevent you to access pictures or videos you're instead able to open through the website. Don't say I didn't warn you, so don't bitch if that happens!

Cool! and what about my inbox, groups, pages, events, checkins?

All there as well! Just look at the second row of the controls.

The first icon (Envelope icon) brings you to your inbox; the second icon will open your Events and Birthdays (will because it's still a TODO!); the third icon (the 3 little men) opens your groups list; the fourth icon (Star icon) opens your pages instead; finally, the last icon (the man with the flag) will allow you to checkin.

Wow, I can check-in?

Yep!

Make sure you allow your rough localization in the settings, though: that means, the app doesn't make use of GPS, but is ok with just getting an approximate location using mobile or wi-fi connectivity, and *only* tries to when you explicitly choose to do a check-in (meaning it won't do anything like that in the background, you paranoid!).

Should the app be able to approximately locate you, it will show you a list of places that are supposed to be nearby. If you can't find the place you're in, try using the Search feature (using the activity menu). You'll also be able to tag people who are with you.

Ok, ok, now how do I comment on a post?

I'm glad you asked, because this recent feature is kinda nice! Why waiting forever for the Facebook app to open your post or for the mobile version of the website to end loading, when you can simply like or comment on a post without leaving the app?

To do so, just long tap (or tap if you didn't configure any default app) on a notification, and choose View post to read the whole post/message/event associated with the notification.

View post

If possible, a new dialog will appear, containing the whole post/message/event associated with the notification. From there you'll be able to like/comment/share the post the way you want to, and without leaving the app!

All the available actions will be made available by means of a simple control bar. The first two icons are there to mark as read and remove the notification. To like/unlike the post, just hit the + icon. You can also like individual comments by hitting the plus icon near them. To add a comment hit the pen icon, write your comment and hit Post. A simple resharing feature, using this or another app, is also available by means of the Share icon: this is mostly useful when you want to reshare a link a friend of yours already shared.

Control bar

Additionally, tapping on the profile picture of any of the people involved in the post will show their profile: this will allow you to write on some of your friends' wall, for instance.

That's great, but what about event invitations?

You can manage them as well! Open the notification as already described: the control bar will look a little different.

I need to be there!

See that new calendar icon? That's what you're looking for! Tap it in order to be able to RSVP to the event, stating whether you'll attend the event, maybe attend it or won't attend it at all.

Hey, I can't write private messages or poke back!

Yes, sorry about that... unfortunately the Facebook API has limitations with respect to some features, which are not available as a consequence. Some were, but were disabled because of some apps abusing it (private messaging in particular) so blame them!

If and as soon as they become available again, I'll make sure they are added to the app as well.

How do I share something?

Apart from the reshare functionality we've already talked about, you can also share stuff directly yourself. How can you do this, you may be wondering? Well, nothing simpler! The app is integrated with the share functionality made available by every Android device, so all you need to do is share!

A simple example? Open your YouTube app and open a video, and then hit the share button. A list of apps that can handle this will appear, and my app will be there!

I like that song!

Choosing my app from the list will make a simple popup appear.

Watch this!

Just say something about the link (or nothing at all, if you're of little or no words) and choose whether you want to share this on your wall (On my wall) or with a friend of yours (On a friend's wall). Done! The link will be shared on your (or your friend's) feed just as if you did it from your browser!

Can I upload pictures?

Yes you can! Use the same approach used for sharing links, that is, when viewing a picture or taking one with your camera, choose the share feature:

Let's share this!

Choosing my app will bring you to a small wizard to upload your picture.

That's a great picture, isn't it?

You'll be able to tag yourself and/or any of of your friends by touching the thumbnail of the picture:

That's one of my friends!

Once you're done tagging, just choose the album you want to upload this picture to: by default the app will try to upload it to the app's album (each application has a dedicated album), but you'll be able to choose whether to upload it to an existing album or a completely new album instead.

Where to?

To finish, just add some text to publish the image and you'll be ready to go!

Can I upload videos as well?

Starting from version 1.13.8 (you can check which one you have opening the About menu in the app) YES!

The steps to follow are pretty much the same as the one described in the previous section for pictures, so just refer to those ones starting from any video you have on your phone.

NOTE WELL: especially in case you're using mobile connectivity, pay attention to the size of the video you want to upload, as large videos may take time and possibly a lot of bandwidth to upload.

I can access my news/feed/albums/videos, but what about my friends'?

You can access that stuff as well! The easiest option is to tap on the profile picture of the friend you're interested to, and have the related profile dialog appear.

Yep that's me

As you can see there are familiar icons out there: the pen icon allows you to write on that friend's wall, the home icon brings you to your friend's wall while the pictures icon brings you to his/her album.

I'm still confused! I need help!

Luckily for you I'm nice and always willing to help users... if you need help, just open the app, hit the Menu key and hit Help. A FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) will appear.

Read it, and then read it again!

Read it to see if your question or doubt is in there and already answered.

Read it and found nothing? Read again! Most mails I receive are about questions explicitly addressed in the FAQ, so I won't answer questions I already answered to there.

Read it, read it again, and still confused? Then just hit the back key to leave the FAQ and you'll be prompted to send me a report. Follow the instructions, describe your problem (in English, please), check you described your problem (I will ignore mails without a description) and send the mail. I'll answer you as soon as I can (as long, of course, you're not asking something already addressed in the FAQ or "forgot" to say what you're asking help about).

Great tutorial! How can I support you?

Well, in case you didn't already, you can support me by purchasing the app!

It's so cheap it's almost awkward to pirate or not to buy it, so make me a happy man!