Hands On: Facebook 2.0 for Android gets native code for better speed

Facebook has updated its Android app with a version written in native code rather than HTML 5, for faster response time and a few tweaks.

Four months after Facebook released a native app for iOS, a corresponding Android version is available. The app, written with native code (instead of HTML 5) that the company says is twice as fast as the previous app, has no significant new features other than faster response times for viewing and scrolling through your news feed, photos, and Timeline.

In my brief time with the app on a Nexus One running a flavor of Android 2.3 Gingerbread, I found the app definitely loads faster than the previous version. Twice the speed is a bit of an exaggeration, but the speed improvement is noticeable.

The most obvious speed improvements are for photo viewing. Tapping on a photo in your news feed will bring it up almost right away. And scrolling through multiple photos in a post is very smooth, as is scrolling through multiple photos inside the news feed as opposed to tapping them to view full screen.

Unlike the previous version, Facebook for Android 2.0 won't automatically update your viewing window, causing you to lose your place. It's annoying to open Facebook to an interesting post, start reading, and find yourself displaced when the app suddenly jumps to the top of the news feed with new content. No more. Instead, Facebook for Android alerts you to new posts at the top of the screen, but the app itself doesn't budge from its place in the news feed.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, during a public interview in September, said the company made a big mistake using HTML 5 Web-based code as the primary component in Facebook's mobile apps.

However, even though Facebook's Android and iOS apps both now use native code, the company hasn't abandoned HTML 5. Zuckerberg noted in the same interview that Facebook's mobile Web sites, such as touch.facebook.com, have a higher user rate than Facebook's mobile apps.

Facebook also recently released an update to its iOS app including more speed improvements and the ability to upload photos to a specific album on Facebook.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags mobileFacebookAndroidmobile applicationsSocial networking softwareGinger

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?