Remember the latest Facebook beta update v3.5? The one that brought photo saving and got rid of the legacy menu button, among other things. Looks like there's another change we didn't spot - one that's roughly 3 years overdue.

Starting with v3.5, the Facebook app finally registers itself as one of the apps capable of opening facebook.com links, so that when you click on, say, a new comment email notification, Facebook is right there instead of all your installed browsers. Hallelujah.

The support is very limited so far - in fact, only links that start with facebook.com/n (n stands for notifications, presumably) are being handled at the moment. This means that something like http://www.facebook.com/AndroidPolice or https://www.facebook.com/AndroidPolice/posts/563640527014898 won't work just yet, but something like this will.

I dug into the code and indeed - version 3.5 is only setting the Intent filter for facebook.com/n/. Version 3.4, in comparison, had no filters at all.

<intent-filter>
    <action android:name="android.intent.action.VIEW" />
    <category android:name="android.intent.category.DEFAULT" />
    <category android:name="android.intent.category.BROWSABLE" />
    <data android:scheme="http" android:host="www.facebook.com" android:pathPrefix="/n/" />
    <data android:scheme="https" android:host="www.facebook.com" android:pathPrefix="/n/" />
    <data android:scheme="http" android:host="m.facebook.com" android:pathPrefix="/n/" />
    <data android:scheme="https" android:host="m.facebook.com" android:pathPrefix="/n/" />
</intent-filter>

It's a good start - I hope Facebook will expand support for regular links as well next.

Screenshot_2013-07-17-11-44-24 Screenshot_2013-07-17-11-44-33 Screenshot_2013-07-17-11-44-50

Thanks, James Brown!