2012-12-14 09.44.42
I haven’t had Facebook on my phone for a very long time. Anyone who’s ever used Facebook for Android knows how terrible it has been. Even Facebook knew it, and so several months ago, they announced that they had decided to re-write the application from scratch, using native code rather than HTML5.

Apparently when Facebook originally wrote its applications for iOS and Android, it decided to use a webview wrapper around its HTML5 mobile page rather than use native code because it was easier for developers if they could maintain both applications using the one code base. This seemed like a good idea at the time, but as Facebook grew, mobile became more popular, and more features were added to the platform, this was no longer an adequate solution. Facebook released a native-code update for iOS in August, and promised that they would do the same for Android.

The new Facebook application, showing the 'new story' banner
The new Facebook application, showing the ‘new story’ banner

This promised update has been released onto the Play Store today, and it’s such a remarkable improvement. For starters, notifications actually load, rather than a loading screen just sitting there until you give up and do something else. Along with speed improvements, the application brings a few neat new features:

  • A cool notification bar that appears at the top of the news feed notifying you when your friends make new posts
  • Lateral swipes between the notifications, friend requests and messages screens
  • Re-designed notifications screen
  • Speed! (I know that’s not really a new feature, but it’s just such an improvement that it needed mentioning again)
The new notifications screen. That works!
The new notifications screen. And it works!

As improved as the application is, there are still some things that I wish Facebook would fix:

  • Tablet mode
  • Holo styling in the action bar and menus
  • Use the proper Android contact sync API

Generally though, the update is a fantastic improvement. Previously, Facebook for Android was an unusably slow, pathetic excuse for a modern mobile application. Now, it’s actually quite good and might make me actually use Facebook again.

Source: Google Play.
Via: TechCruch.
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    Aaron
    Aaron
    7 years ago

    Anyone else having issues with new FB on WiFi on their GNexus? While it works most the time, having my WiFi enabled it tries to load for ages and never does. Switching to 3G it loads immediately. Weird one.

    deanomalino
    deanomalino
    7 years ago

    Its so weird not being overly frustrated using the Facebook app. A good weird through. 🙂

    Christopher Theofilaktos
    Christopher Theofilaktos
    7 years ago

    Working good on my S3, but there’s no more swipe to delete comments.

    Brad H
    Brad H
    7 years ago

    Works brilliantly 10/10 on my S III, but barely even works on my N7, always getting connection errors. I know it’s not my network, as the GSIII is on the same network and works great. I really want Facebook to write a native tablet app, just like iPad has one.

    glennv17
    glennv17
    Reply to  Brad H
    7 years ago

    Had the same thing on my N7 a couple of times. Closed it, opened it later and eventually it works again. Not really in a rush to check Facebook too often anyway. Can’t wait for Google+ to be used more, but it’s awesome as it is now (even if it is very tech-centric).

    senhor r
    senhor r
    7 years ago

    It seems better but has anyone figured out how to delete a comment left on elses update?

    It used to be the swipe to the left but I have tried every gesture i can think of and it still isn’t letting me delete!

    TT
    TT
    7 years ago

    I installed it. But when I open the app it still loads the whole page as before only when you refresh, it is better than before.

    James Finnigan
    James Finnigan
    7 years ago

    I would also like to add Jellybean rich notifications to my request list.

    Divraj
    Divraj
    7 years ago

    Seems much quicker! Let’s see if they have fixed the battery drain problem.

    Andrew Palozzo
    7 years ago

    Yup… I think i will still stick with Friendcaster on the Nexus 10… but on the phone.. This update is so much faster. A big improvement.