Another update to Facebook for Android has rolled around, and even though it doesn't bring the complete overhaul so many people desire, it does bring some helpful changes. In addition to the usual bug fixes, version 1.9.7 speeds up the login process as well as navigating through the app, and front-facing camera support has been added.

Unfortunately for some, the update requires your device to be on Android 2.2 or above, meaning that the < 6% of users on Android 2.1 and below are stuck on the current version.

It is a manual update to the fact that it now requires the (unexplained) "Read phone state and identity" permission.

The full changelog is available below, and you can update now by hitting the Play Store widget below.

  • Facebook for Android 1.9.7 requires Android 2.2 and up
  • A front-facing camera makes it easier to take photos
  • New messaging features let you switch between conversations, include friends of friends, share bigger photos, and see who’s available
  • Various bug fixes
  • Made a security improvement
  • Faster app login and navigation

  • Joel

    Any idea why it wants the phone state permission?

    • Bryan Tran

      Stupid, super-secret, sketchy Facebook data pulls...as usual.

    • John

      Expected bs from FB

    • Daniel McDermott

      To use the front camera I imagine it requires that permission.

    • http://www.facebook.com/benjamin.pavel Benjamin Pavel

      Some say that they are desperately trying to collect phone numbers from people and giving this permission it gives them access to your phone identity/ phone number.
      So i aint instaling this update. =)

  • Ricardo Ferreira

    I've stopped using the official facebook app and instead installed Friendcaster Pro. Way better.

    • http://twitter.com/Rimher Umberto Sonnino

      Totally Agree if it wasn't for the fact that some APIs are blocked and some stuff doesn't show up in Friendcaster. Always need to have to official app as backup!

  • GQ

    they couldn't fix the layout issues on ICS xperia devices?! damn fb!

  • saltyzip

    Where is the sexier android tablet version, that rotten competitor has one although no idea how different it is? Any chance you could contact the facebook developers to get a steer please? Perhaps they are holding functionality back from these Apps to allow more traction with their facebook phone, if it ever materialises to retail.

    • ryanALLday

      saltyzip the ipad app is far from sexy just think of your android phone app but larger lol it's quite an embarrassment of an ipad app