RealTime IT News

iPhone Gets Facebook 3.0 Amid New Approval Spat

The new version of Facebook's iPhone application arrived today, but other apps weren't so lucky, with some iPhone users and developers crying foul over reports that Apple has blocked apps that enable users to free up the device's memory.

The revamped Facebook for iPhone 3.0 is now available at the Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) App store, boasting several new features. These include Events functionality, the ability for 3G S owners to post video directly to the site, a news feed, landscape mode, and support for the "Like" tool at Facebook.

The app was developed by Joe Hewitt, who was integral in creating the Firefox Browser.

In other iPhone news, app developer Bjango said that Apple requested it remove the "Free Memory" feature from iStat, its application that lets users view their iPhone's internal stats and remotely monitor Mac computers.

The feature, which is also found in other iPhone apps, clears the device's inactive memory, which aims to reduce the drain on the iPhone battery, in turn improving performance without rebooting, according to a report on the issue.

Apple did not return request for comment by press time.

On its site, Bjango placed the blame squarely on the iPhone maker.

"iStat's Free Memory function was removed at Apple's request. This decision was completely out of our hands," the company wrote in a statement on its site. "Please note that all other apps with Free Memory appear to have been removed or updated without their Free Memory function too.

"This was not taken lightly -- we examined our choices, taking a lot of public feedback on board," the company added. "We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and we do not plan to remove any other features from iStat."

The company did not return a request for additional comment by press time.

The move comes as the latest controversy over Apple's app approval process. Over the past year, Apple has been roundly criticized by some developers for its approval policy, which some say is inconsistent and secretive.

In response, the company in the past has said that it's stringent approval process ensures that only quality applications make it into the App Store.

However, recent weeks has seen the process come under scrutiny by the FCC. Apple, along with AT&T, the exclusive carrier for the iPhone, and Google, were asked to file explanations of their respective roles in the recent decision by Apple not to publish the Google Voice app.