Facebook Abandoning HTML5 to Speed Up iOS App

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facebookicon.pngFacebook engineers are completely rewriting the social network iOS app to make it faster. The app, which has been criticized by many users for being extremely slow, was built using the HTML5 Web-based programming language.

It makes the app much easier for Facebook's engineers to port to other platforms like Android or Windows Mobile -- but it fails to take advantage of the iOS operating system.

As a result, the app -- which is used for everything from posting status updates to checking in to restaurants -- is much slower than comparable apps written to be a native app from the bottom up. Facebook knows this and is giving the app a complete rewrite in Objective-C, turning it into a true iPhone app and making it much faster. Nick Bilton, reporting for The New York Times:

I had the opportunity to see the yet-unreleased iPhone application and its fast. Blazing fast. The two developers I spoke with said the new application is currently being tested by Facebook developers and is expected to be updated this summer.

Don’t get too excited, though. The new Facebook app looks exactly like the old one. Facebook hasn’t changed the design, but rather focused on speed.

According to Bilton, the new and improved Facebook app should be released next month.

Facebook for iOS is available free from the App Store. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

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106 months ago
About damn time.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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106 months ago
I'll believe it when I see it
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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106 months ago
Finally!
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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106 months ago
Damn... with so many iPhone users that complain about the FB app, this should have been Front Page news!
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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106 months ago
I will never understand how Facebook takes so long to do a bad job only to take even longer to fix programming issues. Good grief.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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106 months ago
Just an aside, the Facebook app on Android is painfully slow as well. HTML5 may ensure compatibility with all platforms, but it doesn't seem to excel on any.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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