Friend or Foe, you sure are making enemies.
It’s one thing to release an app for iPhone and iPod Touch that’s not good. It’s another to update your App Store description, sobbing over your bad reviews and claiming its due to lack of reading comprehension by all of your users. That’s right, it’s not you, it’s me, at least according to the App Store rant by a developer going by JSquared.
Ready to stay away from Friend or Foe yet?
Here’s the gist: for a buck, Friend or Foe will monitor your Facebook and Twitter account friends and followers and over time will track who drops you from their life. There are a few services that do this already for Twitter, but this is the first I’ve seen for Facebook. Although I don’t monitor my friend counts daily, keeping an eye on your follower count is worthwhile if you’re building a brand or trying to widen your influence.
The problem with Friend or Foe is that the app doesn’t work. And no, JSquared, it’s not because I can’t read. Friend or Foe is all style, no substance or stability. Logging-in is a pain. You’d think you’d just tap the sign-in button, because, well, that woud make sense. No. You slide it to the right, but before that you need to push the ‘on’ buttons for Facebook and Twitter (nonsensical because at first use, you haven’t linked either of these accounts). Even if you figure out the magic order, sometimes the button slides off screen and doesn’t let you log-in anyway. Hello, force quit. Once you do log-in the app goes fancy, and the icons slide around the screen. I’d be impressed if I didn’t think this was where all the development cash was spent.
Let’s assume you’re able to connect both your accounts with little to no issue (so many crashes I lost count). Then you’ll see swipe-able screens of your accounts displaying your current friend count, this week’s count and today’s count. JSquared seems to think people are upset because upon launch this week and today will be at zero. No. Clearly these will be at zero because the app hasn’t had time to pull in any information yet—and how would it know who unfollowed me yesterday? It wouldn’t. My issue is that whatever data it’s pulling is wrong. Friend or Foe is telling me I have 200-plus fewer friends than every other Twitter client. It’s Facebook number was closer to right, but not spot on. That doesn’t speak well for future data reliance.
Forget trying to view all friends for your Twitter account—the app gives a black screen and with a three-digit follower count I should hardly be crashing the system. We’ve already been over why there’s no data in the ex-friends tab, but the friend location feature, which sounded promising, also fails. The locator claimed to find 17 percent of my already wrong number of followers. JSquared says: “If you want the locations of users, I have to grab that. Its [sic] not just there. So I have to pull all your friends, then find them. If you want a faster app, buy one of the other apps that doesn't do location. But I bet your [sic] buying this because it does location - So CHILL OUT! [sic]” Nope, my problem isn’t with speed, it’s the fact that Friend or Foe dropped all 77 pins in the same spot in British Columbia.
From top to bottom Friend or Foe’s Twitter support is a disaster, and that’s too bad because it would provide more useful information to me than my mostly private Facebook account.
Surprising, Friend or Foe did better with Facebook (really though, it couldn’t be worse). Contrary to JSquared’s comment that weekly and daily counts will always be zero at the start, my tests elicited the same three-digit number in all three columns. I was able to view a list of my Facebook friends and I saw what the graph would look like (at 100 percent as my columns were even). Again, the location function was problematic, this time finding 58 percent of my friends but dropping them all in the ocean off the coast of Nigeria. I don’t think they live under the sea.
Before I saw JSquared’s comments I was planning to suggest you wait a few weeks for the bugs to work out because Friend or Foe’s dual-service capabilities are enticing. But if I’m going to recommend you pay for an app, I’d like to think there is customer service to withstand your purchase. Because I know you can read: Avoid.