Facebook just announced via its blog that an improved Facebook app for Android should be rolling out today. The updated app brings speed, improved photo interaction, and a better UI.

For starters, this update seems to be all about speed. Photos and albums are said to be two times faster than the current app, and photo sharing, comment viewing, and caption editing have all been improved.

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The notification center has also been moved to the top of the screen so it's always visible, much like the desktop version of the site. The menu has also found itself in a new place - on the left side. This allows you to quickly move between the News Feed, Messages, etc.

The app should be available in the Market shortly - we'll make sure to let you know when it lands.

Update: It's live in the Market now - go grab it! Here's the official changelog:

  1. Navigate anywhere, fast: Get to your groups, apps, pages, and settings with a single press
  2. Search and you will discover: Look through friends, subscribers, apps, and pages
  3. See your friends tags on pictures and zoom: New photo viewing experience
  4. Faster notifications: Get alerted in real time with new push notifications
  5. Games & Apps: Play games and access your favorite apps on the go
  6. Access to mobile timeline (If you already have a timeline)
  7. Access to friend lists and subscriptions

[Thanks, Phil!]

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • http://www.Epkin.com Upstreammiami

    wow that looks nice

  • Steve

    This is an app version of their mobile site. :l

    Well, better than a downgrade, I suppose.

    • jonathan3579

      Well their mobile site has usually been better than their apps anyway, lol. I hated being launched into the browser from the app so I hope they can put a complete end to that.

  • Morenicano

    I hope they finally make a tablet friendly layout...

  • http://www.routecube.com thindjinn

    Wow. iOS has had this for nearly a month. Why do apps develop for iOS before Android?

    • Greg

      There are two separate dev teams. There is an Android Dev team and an iOS Dev team. They are separate groups with different employees.

      • Elrando

        Clearly the talent goes to the iOS team. I mean really, the Google+ app is an example of how this sort of app can be done much better than Facebook has in the past.

    • http://lovepeacestudios.blogspot.com Love Peace Studios

      It's easier to compile for 1 (or a couple of) device(s) rather than compiling for multiple devices of different resolutions and hardware.

  • Vidi

    was waiting for this for to long

  • Carl Stein

    need it already! any idea on the time of day? I hate the constant refreshing issues that are ruining the current version

  • Jane

    I hope they've got the notifications work finally as it should've been for a long time!

  • Cr

    I do not trust fb . Better to use Tinfoil for android

    • Joshua

      You have a facebook profile that you normally check, probably have more personal information on it than should be, yet you don't trust them?

      • William T.

        Install LBE Privacy if you're rooted.

        The official Facebook app will scan your contacts list and send it to the company without asking first. I noticed I started getting "friend suggestions" from old clients / coworkers.

        Also, the Facebook app will occasionally use GPS even when you're not checking in to a location. I'm not sure why FB needs this info, but I'd rather not be randomly sending my GPS coordinates.

    • Elrando

      If you don't want people to know your personal information, don't put it on the internet.

      I put nothing on Facebook that I would have a problem with a stranger knowing.

  • Tim

    Will this be ics compatible so can sync contacts?

  • Monte

    Both Google+ AND Facebook have massive updates today...

    Not sure if coincidence or in cahoots!

  • jonathan3579

    I wonder if they'll ever add the Facebook contact sync again. I kinda miss that.

  • Sakuja

    damn, I want this now!

  • kthxbye

    I happened to take a look at all the permissions the FB app requires. How does it use SMS/MMS receive/send/read/edit permissions, or the ability to change/read the passwords for other accounts?
    Not really comfortable in having a social site reading all my SMS/MMS without knowing 100% they won't store any info on that..
    I know these permissions are (kind of) rare but anyway used, but Facebook being Facebook better safe (and ask) than sorry.

  • Mgamerz

    Perhaps a checkin system the works?

  • phfeiler

    Still can't see comments on pictures. Huge fail.

    • http://buenojoe.com Chris

      I see comments on pictures every day with the FB app and they load faster on the new one. Not sure what's wrong with yours.

    • siew

      I could see comments for one day!! Now feature gone again!! I even did unistall and reinstall too!!

  • Zac

    "2x as fast" That's still like 30 seconds. Not fast enough.

  • OFI

    ^ You can, it's just not load out very well. Just hit 'Comment' but don't actually post..

  • Ruperto

    Still no push notifications??

  • http://mgamerzproductions.com Mgamerz

    This is pretty much a wrapper for their mobile facebook page...
    Also market (web and device) still show only as installed, no update. Perhaps an apk would be in order?

  • ArunaSena

    i have given up on this app ever since i found out about friendcaster

  • Chris Banks

    Lacking push notifications.

  • http://About.me/DarknesSx DarknesSx

    App without PUSH notification = Fail...

  • Avalon

    App without push notification = fail?

    Gee, Android market must be a terrible place for you.

    I am glad with the update. It is a lot better than what it used to be. If you're not happy, stop moaning and use whatever else. Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, whatever. Sheesh, some people are never pleased.

  • MindFawk

    I want to go back to the previous version, at least with it I could upload photos into a specific album, this mobile version of their website sucks

  • Alice

    why on earth does a facebook app want to read my sms messages?
    My communication via sms has got nothing to do with facebook!
    imo this app is intusive - i read the permissions too and it can send malicious sms from our phones!
    facebook have crossed the line with this app. i dont want them to know my friends (who aren't on facebook) mobile numbers and email addresses - i wont upgrade to this intussive app and i might even start only accessing facebook via a mobile browser in the future.