Facebook for iOS due for a big speed update

Facebook for iOS due for a big speed update

Facebook's app for iPhone and iPad tend to get a bad rap, but two anonymous engineers close to the source say that a completely rebuilt version is on the way with a heavy emphasis on speed. The current Facebook app for iOS is written with a lot of HTML5, but the updated one will be made with Objective-C and be released for iPhone later this summer. There's no mention of a timeline for iPad, but hopefully we'll see it at the same time.

Aside from improved performance, however, we likely won't be seeing any new features or user interface. The last update included Pages Manager, photo support in Messenger, and for a brief period the ability to find your friends via GPS. On the developer side, Facebook has recently enabled developers to include Like buttons in their apps.

Facebook and Apple have been pretty cozy lately, having partnered up for deep integration in iOS 6. Who knows exactly how far that partnership extends, but it's easy to imagine Facebook getting some pressure to update their app after sealing the iOS 6 deal. Soon Facebook will have a bit more competition on iPad when Google+ gets released, but until then, Facebook has a chance to get everything up-to-date.

How unhappy are you with the speed of the current Facebook app? Is it entirely unbearable? Did Facebook really have to rewrite the whole thing?

Source: NYT

Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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There are 27 comments. Add yours.

Jez Caudle says:

The Android app is painfully slow to the point of being unusable. Hopefully that will get the same sort of love.

wormeyman says:

"How unhappy are you with the speed of the current Facebook app? Is it entirely unbearable? Did Facebook really have to rewrite the whole thing?
YES it needed to be re-written it is so slow! I've been using mypad on my iPhone and iPad to browse facebook at a decent speed. In my opinion native is always the way to go.

9thwonder says:

i'll be honest i don't find it slow. i'm not a big fan of the sliding hidden panels thing. but once you know it's there it's not too bad.

Phmeter1 says:

It's the worst app I have on my iPhone

jawe347 says:

It's so bad I deleted it entirely on my iPad and am contemplating deleting it on my iPhone. That app is terrible!!!

fayek says:

Yes they most certainly had to rewrite it completely. When a company like Facebook that has billions of dollars can't make an app as good as a small production company that only consists of a few guys then that's bad bad bad. I hate the facebook app. And I hope to god they add a comment pull to refresh option for photo comments. Why I have to reload (or wait for it to reload more likely) the photo to view new comments is beyond me.

Big Dookie says:

It's not only slow, it also glitches constantly, taking multiple refreshes to show new comments, showing incorrect profile pictures for many friends, and a myriad of other issues. Hopefully all of that will be fixed as well.

SteveW928 says:

Yea, it wasn't the speed that got me, but the flaky behavior. You never know if you're missing things and it wouldn't take me to the comment I needed to respond to. Even the actual UI, especially in trying to follow and respond to a conversation on someone's 'note' was almost unusable. Slow is the least of its problems!

Megaman says:

They should talk to Path about how to build an app and then re-write Facebook.

sting7k says:

Having now used the facebook on iOS, WP7, and Android i have to say it is universially bad on all platforms.

iJobs4 says:

Haha not on the Blackberry. And everyone thought the Blackberry app was the worst out of all of em, I guess not..

mike says:

The BB app is very basic and outdated now wonder it moves a little quicker. Not very many people still use a BB these days though

clickonnick says:

The Facebook app is painful to use: slow and unstable... only a matter of time until they put ads in it, and I'll be dropping it.

Jerome Jackson Bellafonti-Lausanne ||| says:

If that happens, we'll be in the same boat. Ads means, I'd be off!

Ace says:

Definitely bad. What I hate is that notifications are, at best, spotty. They seem to only work when I'm browsing on a computer or on another iOS device (precisely when I wouldn't need a notification!).

gordol says:

In addition to the other comments, the mobile apps all miss features of the web page and most 3rd party replacements have, like the ability to share posts. But I cannot use a third party app because several of my FB friends block third party apps which means I never see their updates in those apps.

Enzo83 says:

Sooooo slow I want to throw my phone at the app...but it's hard to do so I always feel that way every time I launch that ....ty app!!

dloveprod says:

It's been moving so slow today, so excited google+ is headed to the ipad.

KungFuGrip says:

That move to HTML-5 didn't pan out so well, but it's not like that app was the beacon of stability before that, either. For a site with that many users, this is pathetic. (Damn I wish more people were on Google+)
I use Safari Upload Enabler, so I've completely removed the FB app from my iPad.

Bobby says:

It's painfully slow!! I resort to using the mobile site from the browser instead from time to time. At least that loads up faster depending on your connection whether it be wifi or 3G. Seriously I'm glad I read this article. Now I can't wait for the new revamped faster app. Screw releasing it later this summer. We want it now!!

Xmen says:

The Facebook app also causes my iPhone stop to lock the screen automatically. Slow & bugs

phillyboom says:

"a bad rap" might be the understatement of the century. Its unbelievable how Facebook thought they could get away with such trash....

erikbock says:

I'll believe it's better wen I see it's better. Right now it is terrible.

swhaley1231 says:

Have to agree with most everyone here. It is an unbearable experience and much like Rene has mentioned, how can a company with THAT much money make such a terrible app?? I have resorted to mainly browsing in Safari and when I get a notification I usually just open Safari and browse there - much more bearable.