It’s about time! Facebook on Thursday began rolling out the new version of its iOS mobile based application to Apple users. As promised the mobile network application is much faster and performs at a higher level.
Before the update an HTML5 heavy application caused Facebook users to wade through an ultra-slow mobile version of the social networks system. Even simply opening the Facebook app took longer than other programs installed on a users mobile device.
In an interview with All Things D on Thursday morning Facebook iOS mobile product manager Mick Johnson admitted that users expected more from the app:
“People have different expectations when it comes to using Facebook for iOS. They expect a level of performance and speed that just wasn’t there.”
In the interview Johnson claims that benchmark speed tests show that basic functions such as scrolling through a news feed, viewing photos and loading the app are faster by 200%.
Facebook has also combined code for Facebook, Camera and Messenger so they can run inside the proper Facebook mobile apps. By sharing code the company’s development cycle is also expected to speed up which means constant improvements to the Facebook mobile app.
Johnson goes on to explain why the program which is a Facebook focus took so long to improve:
“Up until now, we’ve focused on getting to scale. We have 500 million users accessing it monthly across 7,000 different types of mobile devices.”
HTML5 allowed for quick development that could work on thousands of devices but lacked the shared iOS code needed to increase product reliability among Apple smartphone and tablet users. To reach their goal Facebook engineers gutted the Facebook app for iOS and re-wrote it completely in Objective-C programming language which utilizes iOS device hardware.
The hardware upgrade not surprisingly arrives just as Facebook begins to roll out a new brand of news feeds ads for the mobile Facebook platform.