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Android-packing Facebook fans rejoice – you’re now able to download the newly updated Facebook app for your smartphone, and it brings with it a whole new user interface and design. If you’ve played with the iPhone or iPad version of Facebook’s mobile app, then you’re probably already pretty familiar with the changes that the social network just pushed out to Android owners, but here’s the general rundown anyway.

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According to a blog post by Facebook’s Keith Peiris today, the new Facebook app features faster photo and album load times, meaning you should no longer have to sit and wait for new images to load when you’re out of the house and just have to check those party photos from last night. C’mon, we’ve all done it before!

Facebook for Android 1

A new way of handling messages is also present, with all notifications now strewn across the top of the screen for easy access. Tapping one of the messages or notifications icons will open an overlay, meaning you need never leave the screen you are on or profile you are looking at, just to check an incoming private message.

The biggest change, and one that iOS users have really fallen head over heals for, is the new side menu. Pressing an button on the top menu will open a drawer on the left hand side of the screen, which is home to just about everything you’d expect from Facebook. Here you can jump to your Wall, your list of friends, or view all your lists. Messages and your nearby friends can also be accessed from this menu.

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Just like the notifications and messages items from the top menu, accessing the side menu does not take the user away from whatever they are looking at, meaning there are no more occasions where you lose your place just because you wanted to open a menu!

The Android Facebook app has come in for its fair share of criticism over the years, so this new update will hopefully go some way to appeasing the huge number of Android owners that seemingly live their lives on Facebook. For a very decent price of absolutely free, the app is waiting for you in the Market to be downloaded.

Download Facebook for Android [Market link].

Be sure to check out our Android Apps gallery to explore more apps for your Android device.

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