How badly do you want an all new, all better Facebook for iPhone app? Well...

Facebook's iPhone app getting a complete, natively-coded, totally re-designed update is once again in the news today, though this time with the names of some former Apple talent behind it. Bloomberg says the people involved in the update include:

Greg Novick, who helped develop the touch-screen user interface; Tim Omernick and Chris Tremblay, who also worked on the device’s software; and Scott Goodson, who helped create the stock-market application, according to people with knowledge of the hires.Last year, Facebook also bought Push Pop Press, a digital publishing software maker co-founded by Apple alumni Mike Matas and Kimon Tsinteris, two designers who helped build the look and feel of the iPhone and iPad software. Matas is credited with creating the battery logo that shows on the iPhone screen when it’s charging. A longtime BlackBerry user, Mark Zuckerberg converted to an iPhone in the past couple of years.

An intermediate release is said to be coming in a few months, with a bigger redesign in the wings for 2013. Which is good, because while Facebook for iPhone is one of the most popular apps in the history of the platform, it's also been one consistently buggy and, frankly, not a great experience. Getting some former Apple talent behind it is a good thing. These folks have shown they know how to make great looking, great working apps.

Facebook, like Google, gets the web but they don't get mobile. Indie developers continue to code circles around these big companies, but finally the big companies have gotten smart enough to simply buy up the great indie developers. It's why Facebook bought and hired the developers mentioned above, it's why they bought Instagram, and it's why they're almost certainly not done yet.

Mobile is the future. Facebook knows it. Let's hope the next version of Facebook for iPhone shows it.

Oh, and Bloomberg repeats the rumor of Facebook teaming up with HTC to make a Facebook phone with deep social integration. Wasn't a surprise when it was first rumored years ago, isn't a surprise now. If you don't own a platform, you're at the mercy of those who do. It's why Google bought Android back in the Windows Mobile days, and why every company with pockets deep enough to try is working on a phone now.

Only question is, how many can the market support, and which ones will they rally behind? Apple and Google? Facebook and Amazon? Microsoft and BlackBerry?

Source: Bloomberg

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • I love google+ for ios devices, facebook should take notes.
  • No one uses it anymore. Dying out.
  • It is pretty damn slow... Yup that summarizes it. I wish you could upload photos and videos with the ease like the iloader app. It seems like Facebook has broken the apps down into a bunch of mini apps. Just make one good app that will meet demand, that's it.
  • Great news as long as there is no ads I'm happy.
  • Facebook would be extremely foolish to build their own phone. They are much better off putting resources into ensuring their website and apps work extremely well and seamlessly across all platforms. Getting the best Facebook experience on the iPhone will be a good first step. Next they need to recruit some Android developers who can do the same. But build their own phone? That would be a big mistake.
  • "Mobile is the future" - This line is getting old. Mobile is the present, and no one knows what the future really will be. If we start to wear our devices in goggles or implants, and everything resides in a cloud, there will be no distinction between what we call "mobile" and "desktop" or whatever. If anyone wants to plan for the mobile world, it better get on with it, because we are in the crest of that wave right now.
  • I stopped using the Facebook app a long time ago on my iPad and most recently on my Galaxy Nexus. It's just awful. I use Flipboard for my Facebook, Twitter, etc. Facebook app team needs to get their heads out of their @ss and take a look at G+ and other apps that work incredibly well.
  • Definitely needed. The Facebook app for iOS is almost unusable.
  • The FB app is so horrible that the only reason I have it installed is to ensble the "send to" functionality. Otherwise, I just use FB in Mercury. The 3rd party apps don't work for me because seversl of my friends have all app access blocked, which prevents Friendcaster, etc, from showing me their posts.