Considering Facebook is the largest social network in the world with over 900 million registered members, you could be forgiven for thinking they would place significant emphasis on, and pump huge resources into ensuring the mobile experience of their users was second to none. Unfortunately, any Facebook user who has accessed their account through the iPhone or iPad app will know that the experience is less than satisfactory, something that we know occurs due to the app being built for rollout across multiple platforms.
Some of the more notable difficulties which iOS Facebook users experience was the total failure to load any data within the UIWebView control that it was built around, messages appearing and disappearing at will, total crashing of the app and also the very annoying notification functionality that seemed to decide itself when it wanted to work or not. Thankfully, Facebook iOS users will no longer need to suffer the humiliation of not being able to update their status efficiently or organize their latest event through the app, thanks to the release of version 5.0, which finally brings a truly native Facebook experience to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
According to the Palo Alto company, the new app has effectively been started from scratch and reconstructed from the ground up to be a streamlined Objective-C creation that will provide the best possible, lightning-fast experience to the large portion of users who access their accounts through mobile. One of the largest improvements comes from getting rid of the scaled web-view which previous versions of the app have been wrapped around, and instead, building the app as it should have been from day one by using tried and tested controls supplied by Apple as part of the official SDK. Users will immediately notice the smooth feeling that comes attached when scrolling as opposed to the rather frustrating and choppy experience that came before.
The story doesn’t end on speed improvements, it really does not, iPad users are in for a big treat, the new Facebook 5.0 app for iOS now features Timeline for iPad users. That’s a huge win.
It seems rather strange to be getting excited about a company like Facebook pushing out an app update that actually makes things work as they should. In most other cases, we would expect things to work, or end up berating those who were responsible for getting it wrong. However, when it comes to Facebook for Apple devices, it seems to have become a running joke for too long that their app was terrible and now it’s actually worth celebrating a release that brings a positive user-experience for members of the social network. A couple of the more notable improvements to version 5.0 also include new style banner alerts that remove the need to keep refreshing the app as well as allowing instant access to notifications. Head on over to the App Store and check the new version out for yourself.
Download Facebook for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad [iTunes link]