A new version of Facebook’s official Android app is available today, and the company is advertising it as “faster than ever.”
In its announcement, Facebook says things like looking at photos and opening the Timeline are twice as fast as they were before.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because Facebook made the same claims in August when it re-launched its iOS app.
In both cases, Facebook has made the same structural change in its apps: It abandoned HTML 5 and rewrote the app(s) in native code. With more users accessing Facebook each month on mobile devices, it’s imperative that Facebook make that user experience as fast — i.e., enjoyable — as possible.
In a separate note, Facebook’s Frank Qixing Du explained what’s different about Facebook for Android 2.0:
We rebuilt several of Facebook for Android’s core features in native code, including news feed and Timeline, to create a faster experience whether you’re opening the app, looking at photos, or interacting with friends. Now, you can comment and like a story more quickly, and photo loading is optimized to be much faster. We also built a new, automatically updated story banner to bubble up the newest stories, no matter where you are in news feed.
He goes on to say that the switch to native code means Facebook can more easily make the app faster in the future. The new app is available now in the Google Play Store.