13
Dec
fbtiny
Last Updated: December 29th, 2012

We've known it's coming for a while and, per today's announcement, it will finally be here soon: Facebook's revamp of its Android app that will bring a proper, native UI as opposed to the mostly HTML5-based web viewer that's been powering the application for so long. The result is photos, the news feed, and timelines will load at least twice as fast, according to the company.

fb1 fb2 fb3

The company touts speed as the big improvement here, and it's sorely needed. For example, garbage collection was optimized to make photos load much quicker. In terms of new features, the company also built a new banner that will allow you to jump to new stories that have appeared in the feed while you're reading, no matter how far down the list you are.

Here's the full changelog:

What's in this version:

Keeping up with friends is faster than ever.
• 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

The update should be rolling out to the Play Store later today. You can find it via the widget below, or just update from your device when it rolls out.

Update: It looks like the new version is live now! Some users are reporting that it's showing up on their devices. If it's not appearing for you, head to the web listing and install the app on a device that you already have Facebook on and this should force the update.

Source: Facebook

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • David Rosen

    FINALLY. if it's perfect i'll barely even have a need for a real computer anymore haha.

  • Shane

    Does anyone know if it finally has contact sync built into the app?

    • http://www.deathbycone.com Jared Kotoff

      Seeing that its going to be native code i really want to say yes!

      • ddpacino

        Doubt it.

      • JordanMcRae

        Native code has nothing to do with using the native contact APIs

      • Nevi_me

        Didn't Google slap their wrist away from contacts? There was a story about how Google felt that Facebook was abusing the privilege. I believe that was why the whole profile pic sync thing was gone in ICS (I think it was still there in GB)

        • http://www.deathbycone.com Jared Kotoff

          All that happened was that Google was making special privledes for Facebook with contact syncing. In ICS they added new contact API and left it up to facebook to use that new API for that. Hence why the app Haxsync works great but basically does what the app should already do.

          • Nevi_me

            Ah, I thought so that from special privilege they'd relegate to what the rest of us have access to. Thanks, Does that mean it's likely that Zucky's team cried and ran into Apple's arms for comfort?

            I still laugh at my friends when they go on about Facebook integration on iOS, but I guess their going on and on is not INTENTional ...

          • http://www.deathbycone.com Jared Kotoff

            lol maybe. I loved FB's integration when i got the DROID. Sad when it was gone, but its all on FB to program that in. They have just as much ability to integrated s any other app. Which it doesnt look like they did with this update.
            Still have haxsync so its not a big deal to me.

      • ssj4Gogeta

        They could use native contact API's with the web-based app as well.

      • mgamerz

        facebook really wants to use the native api's to upload your contact book to them. Which is exactly what it does.

        • antinorm

          [citation needed]

          • mgamerz

            Okay, well it asks as soon as you start the app. Bad wording.

    • Ryiioe

      Are you using a Nexus device? If so, the answer is no. Google blocked that from Facebook because FB refuses to do things Google's way. It's been like this since the Nexus S.

      • Ryuuie

        Welp.

        I can't spell today. :v Pretend that username is this one.

      • Nevi_me

        Read down, or up, depending on where this comment appears on your device ...

        I thought the same, but I have been corrected, Facebbok was kicked out of the 'special access' zone and relegated to access the API in the same way that other apps do

  • Kishan

    Will it still collect every photo the camera takes?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      Assuming you opt in to enabling that, then yes, it should work. They don't mention any reduced functionality at all.

  • John

    About damn time. As much as I hate FB, it'll be nice to see how much better the app performs.

  • Neil Thomas

    awesomesauce

  • http://them3blog.wordpress.com/ Abel

    Still looks like crap tho (by looking at the pictures) has Facebook ever heard of android ui guidelines?

    • ddpacino

      Google's a competitor, they dont GAF.

      • Nevi_me

        That's why I stopped GAF about their bet on HTML5 slow thing. I think it's the reason why I bareely use Facebook these days lol

        • ddpacino

          The terrible, stupid posts and the ads are why I don't use it much at all these days. If my fam and the last few of my friends could only make that switch to G+, I could close it for good.

          • Nevi_me

            Agree on the G+ bit, I'm single and Christian; today I finally complained about getting ads about meeting single Christian girls, or single girls in my area. Right after that I went and hid my personal details.

            I guess they have to make money, but gosh who's the dumb person writing the bloody ad matching algorithms? And the other thing's that ads are everywhere now, I just keep clicking Hide. I've given websites the benefit of the doubt by not using adblock, cos websites gotta make revenue, but Facebook's pushed me to almost use it again.

          • http://www.facebook.com/rob.stefanini Roberto Stefanini

            Ad blocker pro. It works wonders

          • Nevi_me

            I have it on my Android, but I've never opened it, I currently don't use it because of what I mentioned below. Back when I was in varsity I used to have ads on my website, I depended on the ad revenue, so coming from that side; that's why I'm hesitant on using it. Cos some people who got ads might depend on the revenue to put food on the table.
            My Facebook ad problem was sorted as soon as I hid most of the info, so I'm okay for now. Plus the widget on the FB app means I'll access FB from mobile, where there's less ads for now

    • Jay T

      I don't know, its not that bad. It keeps navigation on the top and sides, which is pretty close to the android way.

    • Abhijeet Mishra

      Ask Google to read the guidelines the next time they open the Navigation part of Maps. If Google can't stick to their guidelines, I don't see why someone like Facebook would bother. :P

      • http://them3blog.wordpress.com/ Abel

        Well the navigation part of maps was used so you could touch it and use it while driving, thus the ugly look, but Facebook is a social network, I mean look at Google plus, or spring pad or even evernote, they look amazing, don't see why they can't pull up something like that

        • Abhijeet Mishra

          Thing is, they can, but I guess the focus was more on speeding the app up first, since that had always been one of the biggest complaints. I've noticed that many big companies that have had apps for long don't seem interested in a redesign, like Facebook or Dolphin Browser (the latter is much better though), and it's understandable since just because Google finally decided to do something about design since Android 4.0, we can't expect every app maker out there to start following the guidelines all of a sudden.

          Or maybe they can, I don't know, browser FTW for my meager Facebook needs, haha.

          • Alex Luckett

            Well, Android 4.0 has been around for over a year now. Devs have had ample time to implement the guidelines into their apps. The issue with Facebook is the reluctance to use them. See the comments made by Facebook's Engineering Director on holo (comment in yellow): http://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/yoyg8/why_is_facebook_the_development_team_for_the/c5y007r?context=3

          • Abhijeet Mishra

            I'm not sure I disagree with him there. People are used to a design and a way the app works, so they aren't willing to change that (a disadvantage on Android, with different skins that mean a user switching manufacturers sees something complete different, while on iOS and WP the experience remains consistent across all devices, even if severely limited but that doesn't bother most people), though they could incorporate more Holo-stuff. Also, yes, Gingerbread is still a major part of the market, though that's a weak argument that users of Gingerbread are the reason for sticking to an older design.

            In the end, I simply think that as long as the app looks good, I don't care if there are visible Holo elements. That legacy menu button needs to go from apps, they should be made smoother and visually appealing to look at, but that's it. Apps like Catch (note-taking app) look great, follow their own design so it doesn't matter which OS version they're run on, hopefully Facebook will follow that example if they don't want to Holo-fy their app completely.

        • Abhijeet Mishra

          But my main point is that Google should be the first to be redesigning their apps according to their own guidelines. If the OS maker isn't enforcing that (like the Gingerbread loading circle in Google+ sign-in screen), I can't say much about third-party app developers.

          • http://them3blog.wordpress.com/ Abel

            Well Google is been working of fixing as many of its apps as possible new redesign galore, yet Facebook has only one app to work

          • Abhijeet Mishra

            Yeah, true, but again, I think most devs aren't interested in major redesigns. Also, Facebook app is actually not that bad, just needs to do away with some things like the legacy menu button. Let's see what happens in future updates.

  • inzandity

    I would consider reinstalling if it didn't destroy my battery all the time. I will stick with the mobile web version on the off chance I actually check it...

    • ddpacino

      Did you check the update interval settings? I find apps like FB and twitter apps are always defaulted to 15, or even 5, minute intervals.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.hanfordsmith Jason Hanford-Smith

    No new UI just *faster*?
    Placebo update maybe?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Huh? How can you talk about speed when the app isn't even out yet?

      • Nevi_me

        I think @facebook-706542431:disqus is saying that we've heard the faster story before. Every update released by some apps just keeps claiming faster. Cos somewhere out there is someone who reads faster and takes it like an iSheep ... That was my interpretation anyways

      • MikePahl

        The update only addresses speed according to Facebook. To mention of UI

  • heat361

    finally what took them so long i hardly logged on to fb because the app sucked

  • abhisahara

    Can some manufacture make a phone exact the kind of mockup pictured above with the same small bezel and awesome real estate :P LOL #wish

    • ssj4Gogeta

      Razr i/m's bezel is close, especially the left and right parts. The top part needs to stay there for the camera and the speaker, but the bottom part could be reduced.

  • TheFirstUniverseKing

    That would be one nice phone if it really existed.

    • http://twitter.com/sam1am John Samuel αΩ

      My thoughts exactly. That was the thing in this post I got most excited about.

  • http://profiles.google.com/mechanizedapathy Shawn Brandel

    Awesome. Go dogfooding!

  • http://katzmatt.com/ Matt Katzenberger

    Tablet UI?

    • http://twitter.com/sam1am John Samuel αΩ

      "Tablet isn't mobile." -Zuckerbot

    • http://ridukkokun.wordpress.com/ Dukkokun

      Not here, but at least it recognizes the tablet's space by opening posts as overlays and not reloading the page.

  • MattH818

    I will promise to use the Facebook app every day if they give me a phone that looks like that.

    • ddpacino

      I think they just framed the screenshots. Would be nice tho.

    • Kenny O

      I was thinking the same thing.....

      Dear Moto,

      That (fake) device is an edge to edge display, not that BS Droid M with the huge top/bottom bezel

      • MattH818

        Exactly. This is no bezel. Get on it Moto!

    • Snakebites

      It looks like the Optimus G without a top bezel

      • xmRipper

        lol its just a screenshot from Galaxy Nexus ^^

  • Sumit Grover

    so where's the apk...play store update still stays on Dec 6, 2012

    • JordanMcRae

      "The update should be rolling out to the Play Store LATER TODAY."

      • Nevi_me

        It's late where I am ... (Sorry for being a troll lol).

        @google-e425cadb765eb4a3c49fff9c7c6a0566:disqus if you keen on getting it, why don't you:
        - download 1.9 (assuming you had uninstalled like the rest of us)
        - set to automatically update so you see when 2.0 is out
        - take a ton of screenshots
        - get Play Store to continue with the update (unless the app's like 50megs)
        - take a ton of screenshots of the new one
        - be the first to do a side-by-side comparison
        - suggest stuff for Ron to pull a 'teardown' on
        - share the link of your review
        - be an Internet hero

        ? (I had to put the question mark cos I started with a question, darn third world English teachers and their habits, now I can't leave out the ? without feeling guilty)

        • Sumit Grover

          I guess you need some sleep @Nevi_me:disqus, and bet you don't need an Internet hero to put to a sound sleep.

          Have a good night man!!

  • ssj4Gogeta

    Hopefully they've also gotten their act together on the contact syncing part.

    I might consider reinstalling if it's actually twice as fast, doesn't gulp down my battery and has contact sync. Otherwise, I'll just use the mobile web version on the rare occasion that I have to use it on my phone.

    • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

      Just tried Facebook contact syncing (Galaxy Nexus), my list seems blank. On well..

    • Thomas’

      Isn't that more of an Android 4.x limitation rather than Facebook's incapability?

      • aNYthing6

        It isn't. Facebook just refuses to use the new contact sync API.

      • ssj4Gogeta

        Like @aNYthing6:disqus said, it isn't. Google+, for example, syncs just fine.

    • http://www.facebook.com/RonJHamelin Ron Hamelin

      HAX SYNC in the PLay Store solves this issue. Unfortunately, it's a 3rd party app but it works briiliantly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Philena-Rush/701598860 Philena Rush

    I'm scared to try it. I'll stick with flipboard until reviews come in.

  • http://btwnworlds.tumblr.com/ Lou G

    I'll wait until the update is actually out as it's still showing "updated December 6th." i'm still happy facebook is getting it right.

  • Suckitnerd

    Yay

  • julian

    i just downloaded and it's still 1.9

    • JordanMcRae

      "The update should be rolling out to the Play Store LATER TODAY."

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

        I like you.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          You guys should be in an open relationship.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

            Nah, that wouldn't work. I know you hate sharing.

          • Nevi_me

            You'd also get Facebook ads about something gore like threesomes for people in open relationships (runs and hides; whatever that means) :)

  • ConCal

    Finally...

  • http://twitter.com/Sony_Black512 Dome ;)

    anyone have the apk?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Nobody does yet, it's not out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tj.physicist Tj Hariharan

    aww geez come on man, at least give us the OPTION of changing the damned ugly ass blue color everywhere..

  • didibus

    Only twice as fast... I'm guessing they went for java, should have gone all out with the NDK and get C++ speed.

    • Nevi_me

      Version 3.0 anyone?

    • SterlingMaloryArcher

      The NDK is almost completely useless for an app like Facebook. Also most of the Android you know it is inaccessible from the NDK. It's really only good for very specialized cpu-heavy tasks and framerate-sensitive 3D gaming.

  • Mason Gup

    Cool! I'm waiting to see a review of it before I switch over from Friendcaster, though.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    OK, it's live.

    Push from the web Play Store if your device isn't seeing it yet, like so: http://i.imgur.com/pb8Dc.png

  • Guest

    Does anyone else hate how the pictures are displayed outside of the status borders on the newsfeed? I HATE this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/italyguy Michael Oberhausen

    Thank goodness!! At first the app took forever to load but looking at pictures is very fast. And the slide out menu is as well

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.hanfordsmith Jason Hanford-Smith

    Still slow. Same UI. It *did* update, but you'd never guess if you didn't see it

  • http://twitter.com/robinmalik Robin

    Installed v2 just. It's way, way faster (on a HTC Sensation).

  • http://www.facebook.com/joseq0501 Jose Quiroz

    Really fast... but i can't comment or share a single thing. #fail

  • DeadSOL

    It's wicked fast now! Hurray! Currents gets an update, Facebook gets an update... Exciting day! :D

  • David Kerkes

    Hmmm mine won't open at all. Goes to a black screen and then Force closes. Cool update haha.

  • sempersi

    Still destroys battery life?

    • hyperbolic

      Aint no thing.

  • hyperbolic

    Wow native...
    If we will have the exact iphone app I will stop going to facebook via browser.

  • MikeAndroid

    Still cant delete comments.... SERIOUSLY!

    • ruperto17

      Did you try swiping from right to left?

    • dgarra

      Swiping left to right works for me, has for years.

  • Roberto Cuellar

    Just tested it on my n7 and it sure is faster but no tablet ui and legacy settings button on navbar

  • Nevi_me

    They use Google Maps on the initial screen, but use Bing Maps when you click on a location or when you open the full map. Hope they either use GMaps completely (with the new API, but I know that won't happen cos of relationship with Microsoft) or use Bing Maps everywhere, maybe someone will notice and change in future version.

    I like the app so far, not gonna uninstall this one :) Kudos Facebook!

  • Steve Freeman

    And here's hoping the new version doesn't kill my battery like the old one did.

  • http://travelwithoutamap.co.cc/ Georgi Kolev

    Can someone confirm if it is possible to turn off FB chat in the app in v2.0 or did they forget that too?

    • dgarra

      You can disable Chat. Settings -> Chat Availability. You can disable notifications for Messages as well.

      • http://travelwithoutamap.co.cc/ Georgi Kolev

        Finally! I'm using a Galaxy Nexus and I didn't have this option before. Maybe I'll finally be able to use this app without being annoyed by chat notifications all the time.

        • The_Chlero

          You are in a social network, which is intended to socialize with people you met, and yet you dont want to socialize.

          I think you are using the wrong app.

  • Alex Luckett

    SPEED! THANK YOU! But the god damn overflow button is still there!

  • http://twitter.com/ao9news andy o

    There's no apparent way to get the freaking "hey, idiot, install messenger" banner in the messages section to disappear. Hopefully it just goes away. And I'm not sure about this but it might have reenabled my location sharing option for messages. Better you guys double check that.

  • Neo

    It's terrible !! this update is too amazing !! speed and fluid !

  • psychotropy101

    Finally!

  • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

    So, I figured i would give it a chance. It STILL installs two services I dont want and it immediately froze. Uninstalled.

    Galaxy Nexus.

  • Justin Moore

    Friendcaster is still just freaking better.

  • wtx757

    And network errors after updating...about right smh fb.

  • Thomas’

    Sooo. It basically looks the same. On my Nexus 4 i'm also not really seeing any speed up. The only real improvement are the comments which are now shown as popups.

  • http://twitter.com/jibust Jose Bustillo

    Seems Facebook is starting to use the same scientific measurements as Apple. 2X faster!!! That is great, now is slow as a turtle so I expect it to at least match a slow rat.

  • Nathan Shoemark

    Yes, faster, but network error on loading friends

  • Justin Moore

    I think I figured out why it runs so smoothly, it is eating up system resources like crazy. It uses a minimum of 19 MB but an average of 43 MB of memory, which for a moble app that is not a game is utterly insane. It also slows everything else down. My normally smooth-as-silk Galaxy Nexus with CM10 is herky-jerky when switching between apps with FB running and 10 minutes after a manual restart following install, the phone has rebooted itself twice this hour after freezing on this app. This is not an upgrade, this is an insult.

    • mgamerz

      That's how much memory a lot of apps use. It's a stack of activities full of media. I think it's also hardware accelerated on some devices that support it (I don't recall if you can force it via the manifest)

  • Brian Knapp

    Sync with existing contacts still does not work. It adds all of my FB friends to my contacts. How hard can it be to get this right?

    • mgamerz

      Cmon man, it took them like over 2 years to make an app that doesn't suck as bad as the old ones. You can't get everything. Ask this again in another 2 years.

  • Matthew Fry

    runs really fast though!

  • http://twitter.com/TKfromCLE Terry Kessler

    Wow, it's actually kinda speedy. Much needed update

  • popcicle

    STILL no way to save photos from the app? Annoying as fuck to have to open up chrome, login, find the specific post, then save.

  • http://www.kamemmental.fr/ RockAndRock

    FINALLY !!

  • Floss

    Hmm, the initial loading time seems to actually be longer, but after that everything is finally smooth. No jittering or 10 minute waits for a damn photo to show up anymore.

  • Sorian

    Video comparison by phandroid

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3i-ZiIM19dY

  • http://www.facebook.com/KaranHarshWardhan Narak Wh

    Damn good update

  • Pedro

    My facebook app is always trying to get my location. I've already disabled chat location.
    Is this normal? Happening to everyone?

  • david choi

    How to delete comments on Facebook app 2.0?

  • beatthis

    It sloooooooower than ever! Pictures never load, and if i click on a story to look at it, it says errors loading story. every time. ive tried uninstalling and reinstalling. Terrible.

  • Neno

    After reading the former 131 comments about Face Book's Android miseries, you all will get a kick out of MY comment: I was thinking about purchasing a Nexus 7 tablet in order to play Face Book's version of Bejeweled Blitz to compete with my friends who are using IPhones and IPads to play...Guess THAT isn't even in the realm of possibility since Face Book is a disaster on Android OS on tablets or phones...