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.