Rumors of Facebook rebuilding its official iPhone app have been circulating since The New York Times reported the news last month. Instead of an aesthetic redesign, Facebook was said to be focusing on fundamental improvements under the hood. The update was said to launch this summer. Interestingly, Facebook has also been hiring former Apple engineers who worked on the iPhone and iPad to help build a Facebook-centric smartphone with HTC as a device partner.
A new report today reiterates that Facebook is indeed building a speedier iPhone app, and that former Apple talent is helping build up Facebook’s mobile presence.
Bloomberg reports on the future of Facebook for iPhone:
This team from Apple has been primarily focused on rebuilding Facebook’s iPhone application, which has been criticized by users for being slow. An initial release could be announced within a couple of months, with another broader overhaul of the iPhone app coming next near, one person said.
The company also hired several key staffers who worked on the Palm operating system for mobile phones.
The team Bloomberg is referring to is Greg Novick, Tim Omernick, Chris Trembla, Mike Matas, Kimon Tsinteris and Scott Goodson—all iOS gurus who helped pioneer Apple’s mobile operating system. It looks like the future of Facebook’s mobile apps are in good hands.
Bloomberg also notes that while Facebook intended to release its own smartphone later this year, plans for the device have been pushed back to give HTC time “to work on other products.”
So the roadmap should be as follows: faster Facebook iPhone app in the next couple months, a complete overhaul next year, and a dedicated Facebook phone in mid-2013.