Official iOS Facebook App Gets Updated, Rebuilt From The Ground Up To Be Twice As Fast

Official iOS Facebook App Gets Updated, Rebuilt From The Ground Up To Be Twice As Fast

Three months ago, we first heard that Facebook — probably the slowest and lousiest app many people have on their smartphones — was going to get a blistering fast speed update. Now it’s finally here. And yep, it’s much faster… finally a Facebook app that isn’t absolutely crummy.

The old client used an Objective-C wrapper around a UIWebview component that loaded Facebook’s raw HTML5 data. That made it easy for Facebook to change things on their backend without breaking the app, but UIWebview isn’t very fast and has lots of caching problems. The result? An app that was forced to redownload your entire wall every time it needed to do an update, instead of just updating new data. Clunky, to say the least.

Facebook 5.0 for iOS does away with all of that. The whole shebang has been rebuilt from the ground up in Objective-C and now features enhanced photos, built-in Messenger support and more.

Facebook describes the update:

Today we’re announcing an update to the Facebook app for iPhone and iPad that makes keeping up with friends faster and easier. Facebook 5.0 for iOS is twice as fast as the previous version when launching the app, scrolling through news feed and opening photos in feed.

We’ve rebuilt the app from the ground up, so now the app opens much faster and your news feed and notifications load right when you open Facebook.

As you scroll down your news feed, all your friends’ stories appear faster than ever. A banner lets you know when new stories come in, and you can tap once to immediately see the latest updates.

Don’t expect a new look: this is the same old Facebook. But it’s had its old jalopy engine replaced with one from a Jaguar. Get downloading.

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  • matrix3D

    Finally. I installed it and can confirm that it is an order of magnitude faster than the old version. Furthermore, it somehow seems to have made other aspects of my phone, such as typing in Messages, feel faster as well. It could just be my imagination playing tricks on me but I’m wondering if the old versions of Facebook were consuming a lot more memory while being suspended in the background. At least that’s the only possible explanation I can come up with.

  • Morten Søndergaard Pedersen

    It’s about time they got one that worked properly, loading FB on an iPhone has been hell!

    I can also confirm that it now works pretty damn well. (and has a few updates concerning looks as well)

  • raina12

    It’s definitely faster! Also brought Timeline to the iPad.

  • Marc Negron

    I know it’s just been updated but I already saw a problem. I can’t look at my actual profile page yet. It just say’s “Something went wrong.”

  • metalhaze

    And just think….Whatever crappy version of Facebook us iOS users have had to suffer with is 10,000 times worse on Android phones. This new version is almost a selling point of getting an iPhone at this point considering how shitty FB is on Anroid

  • Justin Gilbert

    Works a treat. Wayyyyy faster. Thank god.

  • Ivan Moreno

    Love it! But No Landscape View or Typing?? :( Really?

  • MacHead84

    Love it! But No Landscape View or Typing?? :( Really?

    Facebook isnt designed for landscape. Its not the image of the product to have it elongated length wise. Much like the App Store isnt landscape…. just how it is.

  • Cgs101

    I’m finding it just a little bit faster some of the times but apart from that it just feels like the old same app …

  • Martin Dobson

    I haven’t noticed a difference on my iPhone4, but hopefully it will get faster with time

  • thehighesttimes

    Yeah it’s certainly faster. The UI changes are nice too, especially the swipe down to exit photo view too. But the speed is definitely noticeable, not sure if it is on older devices though…

  • Carynn

    Very disappointed that I can no longer view or type in landscape mode with this new app update. I prefer typing in landscape on the iphone and was able to do so in FB before this update!!

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John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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