Introduced back in 2008, Facebook for iPhone is the most popular iPhone app to date. The reason behind this is simple: Facebook has almost 1 billion users out of which more than a quarter use their mobile phones to access the network.
As popular as the app is, it is also amongst the most negatively reviewed. Its most recent version – 4.1.x – has received, at an average, 2 / 5 star rating based on over 49,000 reviews.
Ever since they shifted to HTML5 in order to offer a consistent user experience across different platforms, Facebook for iPhone has become a bloated, slow as molasses piece of software. It has a confusing user interface, takes far too long to start up and stutters and stumbles throughout. Just look at rival social network Google+’s app for iPhone and compare that with Facebook’s offering; there’s a world of a difference between the two!
Now, a few weeks back we heard from the New York Times that a “blazing fast” new Facebook app would be coming soon. Today, we’ve received news from the folks over at Bloomberg who cite “people with knowledge of the hires” who claim that Facebook has hired ex-Apple employees to work on their mobile app.
Name of the newly employed include: Greg Novick who was part of the team that developed iOS’s overall user interface, Tim Ornernick and Chris Tremblay who work on iOS as well, and Scott Goodson who worked on the built-in Stocks app.
In 2011, Facebook acquired Push Pop Press which was a small startup founded by Mike Matas and Kimon Tsinteris – both of which were designers at Apple. Additionally, Facebook has previously hired employees.
Facebook is hard at work on improving their iPhone app. A small but important update may just come “within a couple of months” while a larger renovation would come next year.
At this point in time, any improvement to the Facebook for iPhone app would be welcome. We just hope it comes as soon as possible.
Until then, I suggest you all use the Facebook Mobile website m.facebook.com instead of the iPhone app. It has the same user interface, but is much more quick to load your news feed, notifications and friends’ profiles.