If you head over to Facebook Engineering's latest note, you'll find a lot of words that generally don't in any way forgive the fact that Facebook's official Android app is nothing short of an abomination. You will, however, find instructions on how to join the beta testing program for that app buried in this manifesto, near the bottom. Here are those instructions.

  1. Join the Facebook for Android Beta Testers Google group
  2. Allow beta downloads by clicking Become a Tester in the Play Store (you need to join the Google Group before becoming a tester)
  3. Download Facebook from the Play Store to update your app
  4. Join the Facebook for Android Beta Testers group on Facebook to tell us what you think

Now, there might be a slight delay between steps one and two (the Play Store link may 404 for a few minutes before it recognizes you), so be patient. The latest beta, which should be available for download now to beta testers, has the following changes, which you can find at the Facebook for Android Beta Testers Facebook page (that's a mouthful):

What's new in the beta version of Facebook for Android 3.4:
- Share News Feed stories in a private message
- Swipe left and right to open chat and bookmarks
- Based on feedback, you can now store the app on your phone's SD card (Android 2.3.7 and lower)
- Stability improvements
New if you're using Facebook Home:
- Organize your apps with folders—just drag one app onto another to create a folder


And there you have it. Are you going to be joining up to the Facebook beta testing pool?

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Felipe Pimenta

    Already on it. Liked the new features from this beta...

    • Bob

      I updated. I can't tell what's new.

      • Felipe Pimenta

        Check the changelog in the post above.

  • Roberto Giunta

    I deleted the Facebook app. I still have the Facebook messenger installed but my life isn't that much centered around Facebook that I need push-notifications from it. If I have to chat, I do it from the messenger app.

    The funny thing is, the facebook mobile site is faster than the app, additionally Facebook's wakelocks destroy battery life. So everybody who can life without push-notifications, I'd suggest to do the same for the sake of your phone's battery life.

    • Van

      I use TinFoil. Its a dedicated app that just runs the webpage but it does have some extra features (That dont cause any wakelocks)

      • Roberto Giunta

        *lol* At first I thought you were making fun of me being a tinfoil hat wearer, then I looked for the app and found it! Thanks, gonna check it out :)

    • Krzysztof Jozwik

      You can disable notifications...

      • Roberto Giunta

        I don't care, the mobile version is still faster than the app. If you use an app that is INTENDED to be faster but isn't due to "we have too much shit on our site and we don't know how to code better for mobile OSes".

      • xnadax

        Disabling notifications doesn't help much regarding wakelocks and battery life. I disabled automatic updates and notifications and every single thing that could be disabled. Still Facebook was the number 1 battery using app, even though I never ever used the app. I had to uninstall it, and now my battery lasts noticeably longer.

    • SetiroN

      Especially as facebook doesn't use C2DM (push), but last decade periodic checks instead.

      Seriously, people need to realise how much better the website actually runs. The facebook app has become (always been) a major counter-android point.

      If you really need facebook notifications and uploads, get friendcaster.

  • Addic7ed

    Can someone put the apk ?

    • CuriousCursor

      join their group if you want it.

      • ddpacino

        Just did it, installed remotely. Pretty simple.

      • Addic7ed

        Ive joint thé google group and dont sée update on play store

        • DanSan

          you probably wont. search for facebook in the play store and click into it. it will show UPDATE right about the uninstall button

        • Paul Taylor

          I didn't see it either and there was no update next to facebook in the play store so I just hit the installed button and it started another downlaod to my phone and it then updated the app to 3.4

        • Android wins!

          Search for facebook in your phone's/tablet's Play Store. You will see that you can update it.

  • anzensepp1987

    For me it would be a major step into the right direction if they deleted these shitty legacy-menubuttons in both Messenger (although the UI using the chatheads is already very "Android" and good) and FB.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      I'm sorry, all I heard was "I need at least three more items in this endless pull-out list of random things."

      • David Dudovitz

        Well you don't have the DNA, where Verizon removed HTC's configurablity of the menu button, meaning I am stuck with the 3 dot UglyBar on the bottom.

        • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

          Can anyone please explain why would Verizon do such a thing? I mean, some of the biggest "dafuqs" I hear are from US carriers doing something odd with their phones.

          • David Dudovitz

            I honestly don't know... it could literally be that they do it just because they can. On the bright side, FB just removed the legacy button from their app in 3.5, so Verizon's jerk move will no longer affect me in that app.

          • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

            But why? I mean, I don't even see that move benefitting Verizon in any way at all.. its almost like intentionally trolling their customers.

          • David Dudovitz

            Verizon loves trolling customers... the DNA's international variant, the butterfly, had the option to remove the bar, as well as 16 gb more storage and an SD slot, all of which were taken away

  • Andrei

    Well, the FB app is bad anyway and I don't use it that much, so, at best I could get slight improvements a bit earlier. But I doubt that'll come from these guys, they certainly don't understand mobile apps.

  • Ray

    Their apparent 'stable' releases are more or less like Alpha builds, so imagine what their so called "beta" versions are going to be like.

    • http://planetmew.com/blog/ Christopher Glass

      Utter chaos. Seriously, I love ANY beta program or invite, but this is one I don't want any part of.

  • Cherokee4Life

    Lesson learned. Facebook don't try to circumvent Google's Play Store Policy ever again!

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

      Well, in their defense, they started doing it before Google put in place the new policy. But they did do it again after, maybe even several times. The new beta solution is better for everyone (except those of us who are trying to figure out what's new and not get confused in changelogs). The beta program definitely needs more tweaks though, that's for sure.

      • Cherokee4Life

        well lets not get carried away on technicalities... lol

  • Bjajjull

    Why no Holo?!?!?

    • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh

      Because Facebook.

  • Matthew Fry


  • thorn

    Isn't every release of the Facebook App basically a beta?

  • dilharo

    if GOogle only supported g+ instead of google groups for beta testing....it would have been lot of fun
    they need these
    facebook need to join g+
    Facebook need to verify their g+ account
    Facebook need to create g+ community......
    Facebook need to post g+ posts daily


  • Guest

    What does the messenger-icon in the friendlist mean? There is a little messenger-icon right to the left of some of my friends names. Does it mean that they have messenger installed on their phones, or what?