Facebook for Android

After what seems like an eternity of dealing with a sluggish web view Facebook app on Android, the social media behemoth is finally releasing a new and improved version written in native code. Everyone got their hopes up when an improved, native app came to iOS a few months ago -- but the status of the Android version was still "coming soon."

The new version will drastically improve performance in critical areas such as load/resume times, navigating the timeline and loading of photo albums. Because much of the computation is now happening quickly on the device, there's no more waiting. Facebook's main descriptor when talking about the update is "fast," and keep stressing that this is a complete rebuilding of the app.

The update is now live in the Play Store at the link above. We're just getting through the features initially here and things are looking good. This one is definitely going to be a worth-while update for any Facebook users out there.

Source: Facebook; (2)

 

Reader comments

Facebook finally releases a native Android app

76 Comments

About time Facebook did something to 'fix' the wretched app. Will it be worse? Or will it be better? We'll just have wait and see...

Maybe the tablet code is in there just like on the iPad? I'm not counting on it...

Nothing different on my Nexus 7. Same ol' same ol'. Oh well. Android is ridiculed for not having apps with tablet UIs, but it's not Google's fault, it's the developers.

Nothing different? The old Facebook app used to give me a "connection error" on my news feed, this one actually works. Also the speed of loading / switching views is WAY faster.

First Google Maps for iOS and now Facebook for Android..the day that will live in infamy...

Agree it is so much smoother and faster on my nexus 7 than it was previously. Also no super long loading times for images, now they pop up almost instantly.

Sorry, I meant that there was nothing different on the 2.0 update between my phone and tablet, not between app versions. The app is definitely faster, I like it.

Yup, If you're not seeing it on your device, push it from the play store on your computer. I've got it too. I've got to say...disappointed that there isn't any UI change...But scrolling and overall working IS faster.

Posted pictures from the timeline appear almost immediately now when I tap on them. Props for FB delivering a good app finally.

Can't wait to try it out. I often try out Friendcaster Pro but I always come crawling back. I've got it cued for download since I can't have my phone with me in my office (secure area).

So they finally got around to it. I don't use Facebook, but I was losing hope that this would get done before the end of the year. I'm glad it did. My girlfriend will really enjoy her Nexus 7 on Christmas now..and will probably ignore any other app available.

Noteable change :

Clicking on "Friend Request / Messages / Notifications" also brings up a slightly different UI that allows for scrolling left and right to access the above pages. Google Play style.
However clicking on your menu and going to messages in there doesn't allow you to swipe left and right to get to friend requests/notifications.

Couple things. It looks to be slower at loading images in general, but where im at my data signal sucks, so it might just be me.

Buuuttt it shows at the top that there are "new stories" which is awesome. Also, once a picture is loaded you theres no more major wait time any more :OD

Oh, its so smoooooooooth.

Hopefully the next update will give us a Holo-compliant UI. Meanwhile, HTC Sense 4.x devices can grow a menu button by changing a setting. Very nice for stubborn apps like this one.

I know on JB, quite possible on ICS also, you can view your contacts timeline right from the People app. It will also sync events & b-days to your calendar, but does not remind you of birthdays.

Am I the only person who's finding scrolling and updating slower on the new app? I get stutter where there was none before. Nexus 4, FWIW.

Also updated today: Action Launcher Pro, Dropbox, Google Calendar, Google Search/Now, Plume for Twitter, and twicca.

I am liking this new app. Things seem to be running much faster. Even when I scroll through the news feed and go to older stories that have to be loaded up, it comes up pretty quickly. This is something that has been long overdue and I am glad it is finally here. Now I feel the new, revitalized app can just go through a normal tweaking and update process rather than shoddy updates that do not address the real problems -- which is what we were experiencing with the old app.

Mine stutters now and bogs down my phone. Every time I exit the app my home screen has to redraw. Didn't do this nearly as much before. I do like the zero wait time to see pictures though. Galaxy Nexus.

Super. Fast. This was much needed and much appreciated. I hate all in one clients due to their jumbled look and lack of functionality.

YESSS. finally! ... so... so.... smooth :) now all I need is jellybean for my Evo LTE and it can be this smooth everywhere!!

Everything looks good.. its smooth, fast etc.. but i dont understand one thing at all with respect to Facebook app.

Why does it keep running in the background, consuming a lot of RAM (almost 65 to 80 mb) .. 1 process 3 services.. . while the other apps like twitter for android or plume dont even show up in the running apps, even though it is.

Because if it wasn't running in the background, how could Facebook monitor where you are and what you do?

It definitely seem much, much faster on my phone. This is awesome! I can actually view pictures now! Woohoo!

It's still kinda slow on my end. But that could be because my HTC Incredible's a dinosaur compared to some peoples' new fangled contraptions. :P I'll see what a reboot does.

This feels more like a beta than anything else. i've already go two FC's and some lag. I'm sure there will be another update within a week to address a lot of the small issues.

Gotta say things are so much better on this application especially on my Galaxy Note 2. It just breezes alone mad fast everything.

It scrolls better and seems to be a little faster to load between screens. However, they still have not made it easy to exit the app. The back button takes you to the last page. If you have been on it for 5 minutes going from page to page that is a lot of pages to back out of. I make sure I exit each time I use the app otherwise the GPS stays on. There is no reason for GPS to even come on in this app unless you want to add a location. It should come on then and only then.

This. I completely agree with this. I uninstalled it because my GPS would kick in, even when I wasn't in the app, and kill my battery. It's why anytime someone asks me what they can do to preserve battery life on their Android phone, I immediately ask if they have the Facebook app. If they do, I tell them to uninstall it, and use the mobile site. It adds at least an extra couple of hours of battery to anyone's phone that I've suggested this.

The gods have finally answered our prayers. Even on Sprint super lame 3G network this Facebook app is fast. Contact sync is NOT broken. Could use a minor UI update though.

Runs great on my OG Note. Way faster, tad cleaner interface, photos load fast, photos DO sync with my contacts. For those people having issues, either A.) log out and log back in B.) clear your cache for Facebook, this works wonders, option A does this as well.

GG Facebook. The app is so much faster and less frustrating to use. Glad it updated today, because yesterday for the first time in a while i got a notification that the app was using WAY too much CPU which prompted me to kill the app. now i'm having no problems :)

Much faster and more responsive, pictures actually load. I was hoping for a UI update though. I''l take what I can get.. Lost the ability to delete comments...

Meanwhile, in iOSland, Facebook 5.0 was a swift, but functionally compromised thing of beauty, then came the November updates that totally ruined it, again. I loathe it on my iPod touch 4g, so I have doubts about updating it on my LTE.

Major Fail! . . . ."network connection error" on both Nexus 7 & 10. Bad before. . piece of crap now!

I updated mine and I can tell a HUGE difference between the previous versions. This one is a lot faster at going to different pages and loading up pictures are a lot faster too. Overall this is the best update Facebook has released so far. I am really happy with the update so far.

Curious to see what this version does to my battery.

I don't understand why "MediaUploadService" is running if I've chosen not to upload my pictures automatically.

This is the Facebook we Android users were hoping for. It's very fast on LTE and WiFi, and even the 3G speed is much faster. Running it on Sprint's 3G was extremely painful before the upgrade. I like the new interface, especially for viewing posts and comments from friends. Everything is easier to use...and did I mention it' very fast. Now, we have something to work with. And improvements/fixes should finally mean something.