15
Jul
Facebook-Thumb

Facebook's made a series of slip-ups in its transition to mobile. Their previous Facebook app, with its HTML5 underpinnings, was a slow and clunky mess. Facebook Home was launched to minimal interest, and the core app itself continues to stagnate. Through all of this, there has been one minor, but essential, change Facebook could implement to improve the experience for a sizable number of users. As of today, an update to the Facebook beta has finally done away with that unforgivable blemish - the legacy menu button is apparently no more! Just look at how much screen real estate is freed up when those space-hogging three dots are removed from the bottom of the Facebook app running on an HTC One.

Overflow1 Overflow3

Still, not all is perfect. Devices with dedicated menu buttons will still pull up the legacy menu, not the sidebar. Regardless, Facebook just earned quite a bit of good will from me with this improvement. As long as those three dots are not allowed back onto the bottom of the app, I'll gladly maintain a grin through a series of subsequent lackluster releases. But that's just me.

Update: As readers have pointed out, the new version also introduces the ability to save photos directly to local memory. Here's the proof.

Overflow4

Update #2: Here's the full changelog:

Here's what we're working on in this version:
- Save photos: We added an option to save photos to your phone from the photo viewer
- Menu bar: We've removed the on-screen menu bar from the bottom of the app for people whose phones don't have a hardware menu button
- Notification scrolling: When you scroll to the end of your recent notifications, older notifications will load automatically
- Photos loading in News Feed: We think we've addressed a problem that's causing some people to see blank spaces where there should be photos
- Bug fixes: We fixed some known issues that were causing the app to crash

New if you're using Facebook Home:
- Your phone's status bar now shows at the top of the lock screen by default

If you want in on this action, follow the steps to become a Facebook beta tester and update to the latest version. It's that simple.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

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

    I can't believe it finally happened. Though, right now it seems half-baked on devices with physical menu buttons - the legacy menu is still there on the Note II, for example, but not on the Nexus 4 or HTC One. Baby steps, I suppose.

    • silver_arrow

      The moment Samsung stops adding dedicated menu button to their devices I can see a lot of apps ditching it.

      • shadowdude777

        I can't. In two years, a huge portion of the population will still own Galaxy S3s and S4s, and even S2s probably. If Samsung phases it out now, we might be rid of it in two years or more. If they don't, we're going to be stuck with that crap forever.

      • simp1istic

        The "moment" should have already fucking happened.

        • Chris

          Stop that. It's not helpful. If you don't like hardware buttons, DON'T BUY DEVICES WITH THEM!

          Personally, the idea of softkeys is pointless and ludricris to me. I love my hardware buttons. I run a custom rom and have customized both the hardware keys and their respective long press.

          If Samsung ditches hardware keys, I'll ditch Samsung.

          I really hope the day doesn't come that everyone copies Google and offers phones like the Nexus 4 with shitty battery life (Note II blows it out of the water), no hardware keys and reduced screen size due to softkeys, no removable batteries, tiny screen sizes and no external/expandable storage,

          If that's the "future" of Android... it's a dingy, walled-garden, Apple-style dystopian future for the platform.

          • simp1istic

            I didn't buy a device with them. Now what?

            I don't mind hardware buttons so much as the god damned menu button.

            The note 2 has a bigger battery, what a surprise it lasts longer.

            At least sony is on board and LG it seems. HTC and Samsung seem to have caught some of the stupid this year with regards to buttons.

          • silver_arrow

            I'm not saying ditch hardware buttons. Just go home, back and multitask like Google wants.

          • Jordan Thoms

            Hardware buttons are fine. But they should be home, back, and multitasking - there is no reason to have a menu button

  • Micah Madru

    You can also save photos to your phone finally!

    • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

      This, too, is a joyous occasion. I have updated the post to reflect it.

  • MrWicket

    1 word ---> FINALLY!!!!

  • eddymovies

    I just wish they didn't ask for permission to download files to your phone without you knowing. No way that's happening.

  • Mastermind26

    If only they could make them remember my preference of newsfeed display of "Most Recent" so I won't have keep selecting for a proper refresh.

    *sigh*
    Wishful thinking.

    • http://www.ninetwozero.com Karl Lindmark

      Here I was, thinking it was only my imagination. Go figure!

    • Mike Harris

      This is the most annoying thing for me. Whenever I open the app, the first thing I have to do is open the settings and click on "Most Recent," even though it's ALREADY SELECTED! Then, my news feed will appear correctly.

      Even though it's not available in the web interface either, I really wish my news feed would appear in chronological order so I could properly catch up with everything. Maybe it's just my OCD, but it's so annoying to me to read everything backwards.

      • Mastermind26

        Precisely. I don't think it's OCD, but I do agree it is extremely frustrating and annoying to have to do.

        • Mike Harris

          If I know I don't have a lot to catch up on, I'll quickly scroll all the way down to where I know I left off and then scroll upwards to read everything in chronological order.

          • Mastermind26

            My feed is not even in order! Well, it is after I scroll down far enough, but those are the updates I have already read prior.

            :/
            Hopefully the FB folk are reading this (yeah, right.) and can take a hint from this. ;)

      • Cory Wilson

        Really never got why "top news" is even an option let alone a default that doesn't stick. Why wouldn't I want my posts in order?

  • Cory Wilson

    Contact syncing and tablet ui! Oh wait nope not added yet, so yeah app still needs work

    • Mike Harris

      The tablet UI really is horrendous. I won't even bother to look at facebook on mine if I don't have to. It's sad because when I got my tablet, I was kind of excited to see how great it might be with the extra screen real estate.

      As far as contact syncing, I don't really know the story behind it, but I always assumed it was removed (or blocked) in Android because of Google+. Or the way to do it changed in Android and Facebook never bothered to fix it. Whether Google did it or Facebook did it, I really don't know, but I can tell you that it used to work great. Now I use an app called "HaxSync for Facebook" and that works very well.

      • Cory Wilson

        I use haxsync now but still shouldn't have to. What happened was Facebooks method of syncing was different than androids default method and google granted them an exception. With 2.3.4,they removed the exception. All facebook has to do is patch it but they won't. And I agree I hate how facebook looks on a tablet! Inexcusable considering holo 2.0 introduces a new ui that looks great on tablets and phones, but they don't even use holo anyway! Really why can't a big company provide a good app that conforms to the os standards?

  • Alexei Watson

    and they finally have a dedicated UI for tablets!!

    nah, I'm just shitting with ya. That'll never happen.

    • Morten Ulveseth

      Damn, you nearly gave me a heart attack!

  • WHO?

    Unfollow post was taken out SMH THe only way i post on facebook is if i can unfollow the post.

  • Jay T

    Next on the list: tablet UI. Please, Facebook...

    • Cory Wilson

      X1000000000!

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

    Updated with the full changelog.

  • Sarath Chandra Gullapalli

    I hope I'll still be able to directly share a photo using the usual Share menu of Android (to other apps like Drive, Snapseed and Bluetooth) that I'm accustomed to and love and miss in Google+.

  • Max

    The "free call" button has disappeared with this update. And also, the app seems to crash more often. Well, the perks of being beta tester, I suppose.

  • KevinMCo

    Next up: expandable notifications please!

  • piersandro

    We need one simple feature: TABLET SUPPORT. Facebook... wake up.

  • Gilbert G.

    Now if they can only remove the Legacy Menu Button from their messenger program.

  • Mike Loomis

    I hope someone is still reading this post to answer this question: Is it still possible to choose Most Recent posts instead of Top Stories? I'm pretty sure it is just defaulting to Top Stories and I can't find any way to change it back. Any ideas?