Facebook for Android joins iOS in the fast lane
December 14, 2012, 7:50 P.M., Friday, New York local time — Facebook is obviously focusing on Android now amid its growing market share, introduces a new app that sports faster user interface.
We reckon you’ve already tried visiting Facebook’s landing page on the Google Play Store right? What have you noticed? Yup, tons of negative comments and complaints from over a million people — which is not at all surprising given that the Facebook app for Android usually suffers from a number of performance issues every time an update arrives.
Well, here’s the good news, as of today, the popular social networking giant has decided to step away from the old HTML5 webviews and has now taken advantage of Android’s native code which will now render animations, transitions and scrolling significantly faster and smoother.
According to Facebook engineer Philip Fung the new Facebook app is ‘now twice as fast when looking at photos and opening up your Timeline, and also noticeably quicker to launch’. We’d like to point out that Facebook hasn’t done any significant changes on the app’s user interface therefore it still looks largely the same, the version jump is merely more of an under-the-hood maintenance.
It’s true, the new Facebook app now feels definitely more polished, scrolling through the news feed is now buttery smooth but the occasional hiccup is still there, the app also now quickly renders images when tapped and hopping from timeline to timeline is now a much more pleasant affair.
As stated on The Verge, most of the under the hood tweaks to the new Facebook app were mostly done to increase performance, improve the RAM usage, improving “garbage collection,” as well as making the move from Android’s stock scrolling engine to a custom engines (the name of the rendering engine used was not mentioned by the way) same way Facebook did with its app for the iOS platform. “This new release creates a solid foundation for the Facebook for Android app moving forward,” Frank Du said, also one of Facebook’s software engineers.
We’ve always been jealous of the buttery smooth Facebook app on the iOS so this new update certainly deserves a warm welcome. Now, if only Google can start working on making the Android Jelly Bean on the Nexus 4 just as smooth as iOS on the iPhone 5…