The Facebook mobile apps have never been all that great. Namely, the iOS Facebook app has been plagued with bugs and software issues that made it a mobile user’s worst nightmare. One of the biggest problems with the Facebook app has actually been due to poor performance.
Frequent signal loss and connection errors occurred along with long loading times when using the native app. Most folks resort to viewing Facebook within a mobile browser, which performs a lot better than the app.
Facebook recently received an update for iOS, bringing the official app build to version 5.0. The update fixed the Facebook app considerably, by improving performance and tweaking how the app operated.
Why Was the Old Facebook App So Slow?
The older version of the Facebook app was slow due to its use of HTML5. The app itself relied heavily on HTML5 for most of its features and functions which caused the significant performance decrease. HTML5 is an excellent language for developing mobile friendly apps games, and cross platform software, but it does cause issues in particular kinds of applications.
The code has been rewritten for the Facebook app, delivering a greater experience and performance boost over the old version. The latest version utilizes the native iOS coding language, Objective-C. The coding changes allow the app to utilize the iPhone’s full hardware capacity, instead of running as a basic web page that has certain restrictions.
HTML5 was adopted simply because of its universal compatibility with all devices, and it allowed Facebook engineers an easier time when developing the mobile app. Particularly, it allowed engineers to use the same code across multiple platforms, including iOS devices. This resulted in software that offers sub-par performance, which as you can see from the many negative reviews in the App store, is unacceptable.
The 5.0 update still looks the same as previous versions of the Facebook app, so don’t expect to see a redesign of the user interface- the focus here is on speed and performance.
What Has Changed in Facebook for iOS 5.0?
There is a long list of features that have improved as far as performance is concerned, so rather than outline them separately we’re just going to list them out. If you need more information you can always visit the official Facebook blog.
- The Facebook app now loads remarkably fast when you first open it up.
- The iPad now takes advantage of the new Facebook Timeline layout.
- The news feed now updates and scrolls much faster, allowing content to appear more quickly.
- There is a new banner that displays all current story updates and recent activity. You can tap on any story or activity update to see more.
- Photos now open much faster in full screen view, and you can swipe in a downward gesture to close them.
- Notifications are now received in realtime. It is no longer necessary for you to refresh your notifications window frequently.
- Everything is just faster and more fluid, including messaging, posting status updates and making comments.
- The features from the Facebook camera app have been natively integrated into the main Facebook app.
- Photo uploads transmit much faster and occur in the background, so you can still browse Facebook while uploading pictures to the site.
- The Facebook messenger app has been fully integrated with the main app, and iOS users can now take advantage of the location settings.
- The Facebook newsfeed is updated in realtime, meaning you get to see what others are doing much faster. There is no longer a need to refresh the app countless times in order to see what is currently happening.
- The Facebook prompts and pop-ups (hint windows) are now native so they perform much better.
How Do I Get the New Facebook Update?
Facebook 5.0 for iOS is available now and can be downloaded via the iTunes App store. As if we needed to clarify, the app is still free and is well worth the download.
Android users have not been ignored either. Facebook engineers have released a smaller update, available on Google Play, that fixes some software bugs, improves photo uploads and adds emoji for use in Facebook messages. While the Facebook app for Android still suffers some atrocious performance issues here and there, it has improved a little with this newest update.
Android users should not expect to see a performance gain like what can be found on the new iPhone app, at least for a little while.