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Top alternatives to the Facebook app for Android

Update: Swipe, the most Facebooky wrapper, added

Why would anybody need an alternative app for Facebook when there is already an official Facebook app? Because if you're struggling with data, battery and memory drain, the Facebook app probably isn't helping. So here are five alternatives to the official Facebook app.

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Go on: press it. It's time. / © ANDROIDPIT

Facebook mobile site shortcut: for basic use

Let's start with the easiest and lightest method. If you head to Facebook in Chrome, hit the options button and select  Add to Home screen, then you've got a quick and convenient way to check Facebook without all the resource-intensive bulk of the official app.

There's practically nothing you can't do via this method that you can through the app, either. In Chrome, just head to the options menu, go to Settings > Site settings > Notifications and make sure notifications are allowed, and you'll continue to receive notifications for new messages, friend requests and whatever else. 

As you will see below, there are some extra features you can access with a little help, including a notification shade bar.

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Allowing notifications in Chrome lets the Facebook site operate very similarly to the app. / © ANDROIDPIT

Tinfoil: for the original wrapper

As with all the apps listed from here on in, Tinfoil is little more than a wrapper for the mobile Facebook site, making it light, fast and far, far less resource-intensive than the official Facebook app.

Tinfoil is the original, open-source Facebook site wrapper. It receives less regular updates than Metal (see below), but it remains a decent choice. It offers increased privacy, stripping out Facebook's data mining capabilities from the mobile site and serving everything to you in a neat package.

Its UI is less polished than Metal's and there's no notification shade bar, but if you don't think you will miss that, or perhaps don't even want it, and you're looking for the original Facebook wrapper. this is it.

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Tinfoil is lighter than the official Facebook app and increased your privacy. / © ANDROIDPIT
Tinfoil for Facebook Install on Google Play

Metal: for a notification shade bar

Metal, which is based on Tinfoil, is unique in this list in that it provides a notification shade bar. From here, you can access your news feed, friend requests, messages and notifications. When you select any of these options, Metal opens a slightly diminished floating window. Opening the app proper provides the full-screen experience.

Metal also offers the broadest set of notification-syncing frequencies of all the apps listed here, ranging from every five minutes to once every five days, allowing you to conserve a little more battery if you're not an obsessive Facebook user.

It also receives more regular updates than the extremely similar Tinfoil and bears a nicer, Material Design UI.

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Metal offers a notification shade bar, unlike any other Facebook site wrapper. / © ANDROIDPIT
Metal for Facebook & Twitter Install on Google Play

Toffeed: for the slickest experience

Toffeed provides perhaps the smoothest wrapper of all. It's crisp, clean and fast, and it also has an omnipresent circular button placed at the bottom right of the screen that you can press to make a post, be it a status update, photo or check in.

Another feature of note is that Toffeed enables more granular notification sync frequency options than any other app listed. Anything down to five minutes is possible, with smaller increments than Metal. This determines not only notification timeliness but also how battery-intensive the app is.

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Toffeed is fast and smooth, and it offers a quick way to post to Facebook. / © ANDROIDPIT
Toffeed for Facebook Install on Google Play

Hermit: for customization and more apps

Hermit stands out because it offers more than just a wrapper for Facebook: it offers a wrapper for absolutely any website at all. It also has the most customization options out of all the apps here. You can choose a two-tone color scheme, so, lo and behold, Facebook does not have to be blue and white!

It's super easy to set up and allows you sleek, resource-light material design alternatives to any number of memory- and battery-hungry apps you might have installed. 

If you're looking for a broader, unified experience, then Hermit is a superb choice and could potentially prolong your battery life considerably.

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Customize how your website wrapper looks by choosing Hermit. / © ANDROIDPIT
Hermit • Lite Apps Browser Install on Google Play

Swipe: for the closest thing to the Facebook app

The newest entry into the Facebook wrapper arena, Swipe places a heavier emphasis on UX and UI design than the other apps here. The app has the same battery- and memory-saving advantages – although, currently, it is slightly more battery-intensive than the other wrappers found on this page – but its main draw is how it functions more like the official app. Things like pressing on the active tab to scroll to the top of the page and tapping again to refresh the page will make this the easiest wrapper to transition to.

Its name comes from its tab-swiping navigation system, which allows you to scroll through your news feed, friend requests, notifications, and more, just by swiping left and right.

It also has a pin lock feature, securing the app against curious peepers, and there are a host of themes that change the colors, as well as four Look and Feel options that alter the layout and look of the app more drastically.

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One of Swipe's themes is a dark theme, and there's an AMOLED black one, too, for even less battery-consumption. / © ANDROIDPIT

Have you tried any of these Facebook app alternatives, or you do you have another app that you prefer? Let us know in the comments


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  • I've been using Metal for the past few months, but it's buggy. It refreshes every time I return from a link, so I can't comment on our share that link from FB.

  • The most of them watch out to get power and money. The social networks are overloaded with content like Facebook where the real content is hard to find. How about this new site we use now:

  • Does metal say when you have a new message? I've been searching for an app like that so I can ditch messenger as well

  • Looks like Facebook/Google has removed Swipe. Apkmirror apks install but cannot login.

  • None of the above apps will replace the original ...They are either far below or far behind..!!

    • Check out Swipe. It doesn't completely replace the original, but damn does it come the closest!

    • It might not replace the original but they are better alternatives. Facebook slows down any android phone it's on. I stopped installing Facebook a while ago and have used the mobile site since then and I've gotten used to it.

  • Does anyone who uses Tinfoil or/and Metal gets the news feed refreshed after clicking on a link while on mobile data?

    Whenver I click a news it takes me to a website (outside facebook) when I finish reading and press the return key I get a blank page and if I press the return key again it refreshes the news feed and takes me all the way up. This is annoying and I have no way of fixing it by my self. This only happens when Im using my mobile data and NOT on WiFi.

    • Carol H. 4 months ago Link to comment

      I am just trying out the Metal app for Facebook on my mini pad. Each day the functions improve. I haven't had your exact problems and basically love the way Metal works...HOWEVER, there are numerous little malfunctions stll happening, like I uploaded 3 photos at once yesterday to a group site--it showed that it uploaded a 4th pic also (that I hadn't selected), so I edited my caption to include it--and then, alas, next time I go on, that 4th picture wasn't there! Sometimes my toolbar gets covered up & I can't figure out how to get the icons back to navigate. Thats a bit frustrating. Bit it certainly uses less data. My data had been nearly used up & I HAD to find an alternative to the beefy FB app.

  • Rusty 6 months ago Link to comment

    I use Fast for facebook, it's very light and non-intrusive

  • Alex R. 6 months ago Link to comment

    I prefer to use the Facebook chrome shortcut add on home screen because it just saves out a hell out of data ,You Dont need to install any particular App and consume data and Its easily deletable and constructable as well you can do it within seconds.

  • rafay 7 months ago Link to comment

    Does anyone know an alternative for the fb app? Because i don't like the wrappers of the site.

  • I feel compelled to say I'm a bit irritated by the author littering this article with the phrase "shaded notification bar" yet never says what in the f**k that is and never posts a picture or screenshot. Are we all supposed to know? Perhaps the reader needs to also be a mind reader or have a magic crystal ball. I could google it but this author wasted a lot of real estate with unimportant words and worthless pictures of nothing.

    • The image of Metal demonstrates what I am talking about.

      • Thanks but I still don't know what it is or does. Metal has a shade bar. OK. What part of the picture is the shade bar? Does it pop-up in the middle of the screen? For how long? When does it pop-up?

    • Carol H. 4 months ago Link to comment

      I just installed Metal recently. It looks like the bar he refers to is one that shows up on the main screen of your phone or device when you are signed in to Facebook (?) Its like a link back to your FB which is now under Metal wrapper. Not sure, but maybe it has been showing once in awhile, occasionally when I'm actally off of the Metal/FB app. Anyway, you wouldn't know what it is until you see it for yourself after having installed Metal.

  • I interchange between the official app and the Chrome version. The only reason I use the app is because I can copy and paste on my phone. I haven't found a way to do it in Chrome, unless anyone knows any different!

  • How strange it is that Folio didn't make this list. I call BS.

  • Chris Wu 7 months ago Link to comment

    Best alternative for me is org.indywidualni.fblite on f-droid market (I can't paste link).
    Unfortunatelly, I'm looking alternative for fb messenger and probably not exists good replacement.

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