Facebook iOS app update hits the afterburners

Posted by Trent Nouveau



Facebook has rolled out a long-awaited update for its iOS application that offers significant performance improvements over its rather slow predecessor.



Version 5.0 - which can be downloaded here - was apparently rebuilt from the ground up and boasts uber-fast news feed scrolling.

Additional improvements include a new banner that allows users to quickly tap to see more stories without refreshing, photos that open fast and close with one downward swipe and instant access to notifications.



As AppleInsider's Katie Marsal notes, the updated app is believed to feature speed improvements via  Objective-C, the programming language used to build native applications for iOS. 

Indeed, the previous Facebook application, which users complained was incredibly slow, was coded primarily on HTML5, a Web-based programming language.

"Unfortunately native is a different animal, and it turns out you can't build a good enough experience on iOS using Web tech," Facebook exec Cory Ondrejka told the New York Times.

"We have Web in our bones. We would love the Web to be as capable as native to simplify development. But it's just not there today."


Facebook version 5.0 is a 7.3-megabyte download available for free from the iOS App Store. It is compatible with iPhones, iPads and iPod touches running iOS 4.3 or later.