Facebook for Android hits 2.0, speed improvements inbound

If you own an Android tablet or smartphone, you most likely use the Facebook app. You also have likely experienced some frustration in using the current version of the app since it relies in part on web-based HTML5 code. As a result, it can take a while to bring up things such as the news feed and photos on the app.

That should end later today. In a post on Facebook's website, the company announced that its Android app would be upgraded to version 2.0 which it states is twice as fast as the current version. It says:

When you’re on your phone, nothing matters more than getting what you want quickly. We're always working to make our apps faster, and in this update we've rebuilt news feed, notifications and Timeline for speed.

The post adds that people will now be able to view pictures in Facebook "right away" with the new Android app and browse Facebook photo albums while still checking out the news feed for updated posts.

While Facebook's news post doesn't mention ditching the HTML5 code, Tech Crunch reports Facebook made the decision several months ago to do away with the web-based part of the Android app. Facebook previously released an updated iOS port of its app that no longer used HTML5 and its performance also got a big speed boost as a result.

Source: Facebook | Image via Facebook

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33 Comments

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I know they want to follow metro, but I feel like it is poorly designed. the header takes up 1/4 of my valuable screen real estate! I'd rather see an app that nearly mirrors the iOS and android design

Seems like a nice update. I haven't used the Facebook app on my phone for ages because of how absolutely terrible it ran, and it's excessive battery drain. Going to tentatively give this a try for a little while and see how it goes. Probably still worth keeping notifications off to save battery.

Are pictures actually meant to be bigger than the main feed or is that a bug? Noticed it on my phone earlier when I got the update but I see it's in the image here as well.

nohone said,
Why do people need this when they can just open their web browser?

/s


because the mobile site doesn't have half the functionality that the app does.

Whenever there is an article about a new app on Win8, we get the usual people complaining that there is an app when the web site will do, that it is just to get the app numbers up, etc. But when there is a web site app for Android, iOS, etc. then there is silence or people are happy that the app is available. That is why I wrote the /s at the end.

nohone said,
Whenever there is an article about a new app on Win8, we get the usual people complaining that there is an app when the web site will do, that it is just to get the app numbers up, etc. But when there is a web site app for Android, iOS, etc. then there is silence or people are happy that the app is available. That is why I wrote the /s at the end.

Did you ever perhaps consider that it's a demographics thing, or even a form factor thing? Generally speaking, I prefer apps on my phone. Apps are much more reliable and well designed for low bandwidth and low/no signal situations (i.e. I can still use the Facebook app on my phone when I have no signal). On a desktop however I have a nice big screen, guaranteed network connection and speedy JS/HTML processing, so I'd prefer the website to an app that serves no particular purpose than cluttering my hard disk and start (menu|screen) with needless installations.

Then again maybe Windows/WP user just complain more than their Android or iOS counterparts?

Majesticmerc said,

Did you ever perhaps consider that it's a demographics thing, or even a form factor thing? Generally speaking, I prefer apps on my phone. Apps are much more reliable and well designed for low bandwidth and low/no signal situations (i.e. I can still use the Facebook app on my phone when I have no signal). On a desktop however I have a nice big screen, guaranteed network connection and speedy JS/HTML processing, so I'd prefer the website to an app that serves no particular purpose than cluttering my hard disk and start (menu|screen) with needless installations.

Then again maybe Windows/WP user just complain more than their Android or iOS counterparts?

I am the one who is always defending writing apps for everything, if it is a web site or not. The purpose of my comment here is because when we see a "Here is a new app for Win8" the same group of people who are usually spending their time attacking Win8 are the first ones to comment about how we don't need web sites turned into apps. But when we have an article like this one, those people are nowhere to be seen, mostly because it is an app for Android, and we need big Google Play app counts, so web sites turned into apps is a good thing.

But the next time I will make sure to write my comments with something more than /s. Maybe something like

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS A SARCASTIC POST. NOT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY!

<content>

REMINDER: THIS WAS A SARCASTIC POST. WHAT YOU JUST READ WAS NOT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY!

I understood your sarcasm entirely, and the reason why you used sarcasm. My point was that you're comparing apples to oranges. These people that you're moaning about don't complain in the Windows Phone app posts either, so they're not just hating on Microsoft, or sucking up to Google, they're expressing concern about the need for apps on a desktop OS vs a Mobile OS.

Indeed. New apps that adhere to the guidelines to some extent are actually quite nice, rather than boring. I like how some apps (e.g. endomondo) manage to keep their own personality to it while following the guidelines.