Facebook improves Android and iOS mobile apps

14 Dec 2012

Facebook has rolled out updates to both its Android and iOS apps, bringing them in line with each other. The Android app is now built to be as fast as the recently rebuilt iOS version, while iOS users can now select an album to upload photos to, just like Android users.

In Facebook for Android 2.0, Facebook has made the decision to drop HTML5 and build a native app from the ground up. The result is said to be faster than ever and the news feed, notifications and timeline have been optimised for faster performance.

Having downloaded the update this morning, I can happily verify these claims. The app launches faster than ever and quickly loads the news feed. So quickly, in fact, that as I scrolled down searching for any lag in performance I spotted that posts were loading faster than the images could keep up further down the feed, but even these appeared after a momentary delay.

Viewing photos – something that was consistently poor on Facebook for Android – is finally fast and reliable, though search is still a little slow. I tested the app on my 3G connection, not Wi-fi, so I’m happy to agree with Facebook’s claims of much-improved performance.

iOS update

This update brings Facebook for Android in line with Facebook for iOS, which received a similar update this summer. Users on iOS don’t get everything first, though, as Facebook for Android was first to include the ability to select an album for uploaded photos.

This feature has now been added to Facebook for iOS, bringing both of the popular mobile apps up to speed. The latest version of Facebook for iOS has also been improved to load the news feed and timelines faster.

Both the updates are available now from Google Play and the App Store.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.