Friday, December 14, 2012

Facebook for Android goes native, iOS app gets an update

After less than a month of its previous update, Facebook has launched an update for its app on both Android and iOS. The rollout started with the Android app on which Facebook has ditched the HTML5 ‘webviews’ and has instead taken to native codes to make using the app a faster experience.

The Android app is now a native one as it has been built from scratch using Android’s Software Development Kit (SDK.) Facebook engineer Phillip Fung said in a statement, "It's twice as fast when looking at photos and opening up your Timeline, and noticeably quicker to launch." The iOS app had been completely rebuilt in August to version 5.0 making it faster and easier to use, and if that is anything to go by, the Android app promises to be as fast – almost 200 percent faster.

The changes listed in the Play Store are:
  • News feed and your Timeline load faster.
  • Photos open with a tap so you can quickly like and comment
  • New Stories bar lets you see more stories without refreshing.

Facebook irks users
Facebook has updated!

Hours after launching the iOS app, Facebook for iOS too received an update. The new app promises faster loading time for the Timeline and news feed as well as the ability to choose which album to upload an image to. Facebook seems to have stepped on the gas pedal when it comes to releasing updates for apps as soon as something new comes up. It’s a part of Facebook’s new ‘mobile-first’ strategy that is making it release updates at a great speed. In an update sent out a month ago, Facebook finally added the much awaited ‘share’ button that allowed users to share posts from their phones.

In previous updates, Facebook had rolled out a photo-sync feature for both Android and iOS that allowed users to sync images clicked by their phone cameras discreetly to their Facebook accounts without posting them. This private album is not visible to your friend list. Whenever you want to share an image, just pick and post the desired image, which will then be viewable by your friends on Facebook.

The highlight of this feature is the fact that photographs are kept private once they are uploaded, and it’s up to the user to decide which photos they would like to share on their public feed. Users can also choose when and how the photos are uploaded by choosing between Wi-Fi and cellular, or they can simply choose to turn off sync.

And in an unprecedented move, Facebook took cross-platform messaging apps head-on with an update to its messenger. Facebook has opened up its messenger service to people who aren't registered with the social network, and you can now use Facebook Messenger to chat using only your name and mobile number.

Facebook updated its Android app in early December, to embrace a wider audience base by removing the necessity to be a Facebook member to use the messenger service. It is supposed it could help in enticing more non-members to use Facebook services while giving existing users a bonus by letting them chat with friends who are not on the social networking website.

The breakneck speed at which Facebook seems to be rolling out updates and new features are not just doing wonders to their popularity, it’s a win-win situation for the company and users alike! Get the app here from the Play Store for Android and here from the App Store for your iOS devices.

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