Facebook 5.0 brings faster, better, stronger native app to iPhone and iPad

Facebook 5.0 brings faster, better, stronger native app to iPhone and iPad

Facebook has just released the highly anticipated new version of Facebook for iPhone and Facebook for iPad, a update they've promised would make it better, faster, and stronger than ever before. That's important because Facebook has always been one of the most popular apps on iOS, yet has also been plagued by bugs and other problems unbecoming one of the largest companies in the world. And here's how Facebook's aimed to make it right:

We've rebuilt the app so it’s faster and easier to use. * Scrolling through news feed is faster than ever * New banner lets you tap to quickly see more stories – no need to refresh * Photos open fast and close with one downward swipe * Instant access to your notifications

Now, here's the deal: Facebook may have re-architected their app to use native display elements instead of building everything out of HTML5, but they're still pulling almost all their content from the web, and that won't be significantly faster. So, while scrolling and other elements of the user experience are indeed improved, any time you try to pull anything not already cached, it's still going to take its sweet time.

That's why Facebook dedicating themselves to making great iOS apps is much more important than any relative claims of speed improvement or interface implementations. Facebook wanting to be proud of their mobile apps is what matters, and what I hope gets validated going forward.

In the meantime, grab the update and let me know how it works for you. Is this the Facebook for iPhone and iPad app you've been hoping for? Answer here or Facebook me at Rene Ritchie)...

Free - Download now

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Facebook 5.0 brings faster, better, stronger native app to iPhone and iPad


I understand, but it's funny to see this article with that title (Facebook 5.0 brings faster, better, stronger native app to iPhone and iPad), after having read the following tweet from you: "Um, new Facebook app is working incredibly slowly for me. Was that what was supposed to happen?"

Thanks to this article, I found out that there is an update with 25 new more levels for Cut The Rope, OmNom! :)

I'm wondering about the share feature, too. Is this too difficult to implement, or a conscious decision to leave it out?

I was going to say it's a choice because third party apps can, but checking now, Friendcaster on my Droid does but not Friendcaster on my iPad.

When in the News Feed view, if someone post a new post, a banner will appear at top saying something like "1 New Story" or something like that.... like what a lot of the Twitter clients already did.

Me either. I didn't even notice what's different to be honest. I only use it to share an occasional pic though.

they were supposed to build "a brand new app from the ground up" blah blah blah
it looks like the same crappy app!!!!
i dont see anything new about it - maybe its got some speed in the back but how about adding some functionality so i dont have to use the browser?? or is that what they want so they can show us ads?

have you use the app at all??? You can like picture comments FOR ONE!!!! Tapping notifications takes you to the actual subject instead of opening the notification menu. When people comment on a post while you are looking/about to post it live refreshes in front of you. No more pull to refresh BS like in the old app, everything loads automatically (only in news feed and your profile). This app is redone completely. There are new transitions, animations, designs. They might be small changed in design, but the app has been improved greatly. And you don't even have to use the browser to open links. There's an option to open links within facebook and if you want to share that link, the app allows that now.

Wow I'm really impressed with it the speed changes are day and night. Finally I want to use the app before I'd just get annoyed each time by the laggy scrolling and slow loading.

Loading the content doesn't seem any faster or slower than loading content from any other app for me. Plenty fast IMO, maybe it's your internet that is too slow.

App is much better now. Before it was borderline atrocious and slow to the point of being unusable. Now it's at least proficient and usable. That's good enough for me.

Seems a little quicker maybe, but is there a way to get rid of "Try These Games?" I do not play games, I do not want to play games, I do not care what games my friends play. Please, get rid of these "feature" which is not a feature, but a PITA!
Also, it seems to have lost the ability to be viewed horizontally? Why is that?

THANK YOU Rene. Finally someone who is reporting the correct information. The app has not been re-written to only native code and given HTML 5 the boot. Yes some things are more native than they used to be, but the app is still a hybrid and always will be. Unless of course we want to download an update every time Facebook needs/wants to make a minor change in how the information is displayed. I am slowly losing credibility with other news outlets that are reporting otherwise.

I don't mind the load times. The responsiveness was awfull in the previous versions. 5.0 has rid the issue of laggy response time.

The app is vastly, vastly faster now. I grew too frustrated to use the old one unless I really needed to. It was excruciatingly slow on my 4S. Now it's very zippy. I don't understand what some of the complaining here is about. I don't care whether it's HTML5 or whether it's written in Basic for the Atari 2600. It's fast, and that's good.

(And nobody ever claimed they were doing a new design. Again, I don't know what that complaint is all about.)

They removed all landscape support....UGH!!! Since I always type in landscape mode this really sucks!!!

I used landscape to type all the time as well. Don't need it on my iPad so this update pisses me off as well.

For me its slow to load and once it did load I tried going into photos of a friend and it completely froze on me to the point I had to shut the app down and try again. Still frozen pictures. I'm running the latest iOS on an iPhone 4S.

figures they bring this update out a few weeks after I deactivated my account. Looks like I'll never know what it's like

Way better than the previous version. Now the scrolling through the news feed is like "butter", whereas before it was choppy and sloppy.

Alright I'm late on this and hopefully someone has an answer of they've noticed. My friend was having trouble changing his cover photo on his timeline so then I decided to check it out. The little photo icon on my timeline cover photo is completely gone and I have no clue how to change it through the iOS app. Is anyone else having the same problem?

I would like to re-sync Facebook to my iPhone contacts but as the other person said they took away the sync function. What do we do now? Some of my contacts have old pictures that never changed with the Facebook sync and was hoping the new version would fix that for me.