Facebook to launch faster iOS app in July - report

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Facebook is working on a new application for iOS that has been completely rebuilt to address its current, "painfully slow" performance, according to a new report.

Two unnamed engineers working on the project shared the details of the updated application with Nick Bilton of The New York Times. He reported on Wednesday that the rebuilt application will focus on speed and performance.

"One of the Facebook engineers said the new application has been built primarily using Objective-C, the programming language used to build applications for iOS," Bilton wrote. "Many of the components of the current version of the Facebook app are built using HTML5, a Web-based programming language."

Bilton tested the unreleased iPhone application and said it delivers "blazing fast" performance. He said the application is being tested by developers and should be released this summer, indicating that it is expected to launch "next month."

Though it will be rewritten, the application "looks exactly like the old one," he said. All of the changes have been made behind the scenes to improve performance.

Facebook


The Facebook application has been available on iPhone for years, but the social networking site released its official iPad application last fall. The iOS software is universal, meaning it has built-in support for both the iPhone and the iPad.

Facebook will also play a major role in the release of iOS 6 this fall>. With iOS 6, Apple will add system-wide Facebook integration, allowing users to log in to their account in the iOS Settings application in order to quickly post to their Facebook account and share music, applications and photos with their friends.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    am8449am8449 Posts: 339member


    The Facebook app has consistently received terrible ratings, not just this current slow version, but in previous ones also.  I don't know why FB doesn't put more effort into their iOS app.  Is it because they would prefer users to use FB on mobile Safari?

  • Reply 2 of 21
    stniukstniuk Posts: 90member


    zzzzzzzzzz

  • Reply 3 of 21
    hari5hari5 Posts: 46member



    Quote:


    "One of the Facebook engineers said the new application has been built primarily using Objective-C, the programming language used to build applications for iOS," Bilton wrote. "Many of the components of the current version of the Facebook app are built using HTML5, a Web-based programming language."



     


     


     


    I don't know much about programming but as far as I can recall my readings of tech forums , I thought that HTML 5 was the way to go. It's ought to be the web standard now.


     


    Today morning in my flipboard, I came across this article posted on The Verge. I am not sure if it fits in to this scenario. But let me share it anyway.


     


    http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/27/3120275/ea-browser-game-strike-force-html5-multiplayer


     


    Snippets:


     


    "What makes the game special isn’t its 3D visuals, robot combat, or audio effects — although they are reportedly impressive — but rather, that the game is written in HTML5, a web standard. As such, it can be played in Google’s Chrome browser on phones, tablets, and computers, without the need for so much as a special plugin, and with reportedly very low latency"


     


    "Using HTML5 allowed EA to avoid the expensive tools and long development cycles required in console gaming."


     


    "Strike Force is written with web code, and powered by computers at an EA data center. It certainly sounds great, but it might be a while before this caliber of browser-based game is ready for prime time"

  • Reply 4 of 21
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,694member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hari5 View Post


    I don't know much about programming but as far as I can recall my readings of tech forums , I thought that HTML 5 was the way to go. It's ought to be the web standard now.



     


    It depends on the situation.


     


    In general, if you know what you are doing, using programming languages which are native to the platform on which you are deploying your app (i.e. Obj-C on Mac OS/iOS, C++/C# on Windows) will get you better performance.  HTML5 buys you a cross-platform application at the expense of having full control over how things are done under the hood (i.e. you're subject to how the Javascript engine on a particular platform is implemented).


     


    For many apps, HTML5 performance is good enough.  However, when faced with performance problems, having the ability to tweak all of the little implementation details under the hood is a huge asset.  This is what Facebook has chosen to do.

  • Reply 5 of 21
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,694member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hari5 View Post


    Today morning in my flipboard, I came across this article posted on The Verge. I am not sure if it fits in to this scenario. But let me share it anyway.


     


    http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/27/3120275/ea-browser-game-strike-force-html5-multiplayer



     


    Yes, that's relevant.  I'm not quite certain, but it seems like that game is designed to work in Chrome only because it takes advantage of special capabilities in Chrome which allow it to get better performance.


     


    *edit: From the comments, I can see it uses WebGL, which isn't optimized on all platforms yet.

  • Reply 6 of 21
    bdkennedybdkennedy Posts: 407member
    Thank GOD. Sometimes I want to throw my phone at the wall.
  • Reply 7 of 21
    msuberlymsuberly Posts: 226member


    Does this mean that Facebook mobile ads are finally coming?  Ugh...I like free products until the company goes out of business.

  • Reply 8 of 21
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hari5 View Post


     


     


     


    I don't know much about programming but as far as I can recall my readings of tech forums , I thought that HTML 5 was the way to go. It's ought to be the web standard now


    ...



     


    Correct: the WEB standard (or collection of standards). Outside the browser, though, there are better tools for a great many things. A web app (meaning a browser view even if not in Safari), for the foreseeable future, just cannot be as good at the best native apps. And apparently Facebook wasn’t much different from a web app!

  • Reply 9 of 21
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,075member


    I've always wondered if that was just me. To the point of running out and using the FCC  speedtest  


     


    "painfully slow" is right.

  • Reply 10 of 21
    timbittimbit Posts: 331member
    It's about goddamn time! They haven't updated the app in ages!
  • Reply 11 of 21


    The Facebook app on iOS is so buggy and slow, to the point I've deleted it and replaced it with a shortcut to the Safari based version. At least that's quicker and doesn't randomly jump to pages I've not even come close to clicking on.


     


    As for the new version, we'll see. Personally Facebook is becoming less desirable to use, over bloated, majorly creeping big brother and the fact that most of my friends have just stopped using it anywhere near as much as a few years ago.

  • Reply 12 of 21
    thejdthejd Posts: 37member
    The Facebook app on iOS is so buggy and slow, to the point I've deleted it and replaced it with a shortcut to the Safari based version. At least that's quicker and doesn't randomly jump to pages I've not even come close to clicking on.

    As for the new version, we'll see. Personally Facebook is becoming less desirable to use, over bloated, majorly creeping big brother and the fact that most of my friends have just stopped using it anywhere near as much as a few years ago.

    With the release of ios6's shared photo streams and a private YouTube channel, I will most likely be dropping Facebook for these very reasons.
  • Reply 13 of 21
    jack macjack mac Posts: 92member


    One of the few apps so horrid that I deleted it.  It kept crashing my phone. There is really nothing that Facebook does well except self-promotion.

  • Reply 14 of 21
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,032member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by am8449 View Post


    The Facebook app has consistently received terrible ratings, not just this current slow version, but in previous ones also.  I don't know why FB doesn't put more effort into their iOS app.  Is it because they would prefer users to use FB on mobile Safari?



     


    Isn't that what this article is about? :)

  • Reply 15 of 21
    bedouinbedouin Posts: 326member
    Hopefully this means I'll be able to do simple things like share somebody else's picture or link without using a browser . . .
  • Reply 16 of 21
    lostkiwilostkiwi Posts: 541member


    Delete

  • Reply 17 of 21
    lostkiwilostkiwi Posts: 541member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by am8449 View Post


    The Facebook app has consistently received terrible ratings, not just this current slow version, but in previous ones also.  I don't know why FB doesn't put more effort into their iOS app.  Is it because they would prefer users to use FB on mobile Safari?



     


    In a word, yes!  FB don't make any money when someone uses the app as they can't drape it in advertising like they do on the webpage.  The app is basically to keep Facebook relevant in the minds of the minds of the growing multitudes of iOS (and I guess Fandroids, but I have never seen the FB app on Android) users.  


     


    I would think Zuck views FB app users as a net drain on the FB ecosystem more than anything else.

  • Reply 18 of 21
    hari5hari5 Posts: 46member

    Quote:



    Originally Posted by auxio View Post


     


    It depends on the situation.


     


    In general, if you know what you are doing, using programming languages which are native to the platform on which you are deploying your app (i.e. Obj-C on Mac OS/iOS, C++/C# on Windows) will get you better performance.  HTML5 buys you a cross-platform application at the expense of having full control over how things are done under the hood (i.e. you're subject to how the Javascript engine on a particular platform is implemented).


     


    For many apps, HTML5 performance is good enough.  However, when faced with performance problems, having the ability to tweak all of the little implementation details under the hood is a huge asset.  This is what Facebook has chosen to do.



     


    Oh I see. Thank you for clearing that up. :)


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by auxio View Post


     


    Yes, that's relevant.  I'm not quite certain, but it seems like that game is designed to work in Chrome only because it takes advantage of special capabilities in Chrome which allow it to get better performance.


     


    *edit: From the comments, I can see it uses WebGL, which isn't optimized on all platforms yet.


     



     


    Yes. It looks that way. Currently Sony Xperia phones are the first to support WebGL. I don't see Apple supporting it in the OS yet. There was no word of WebGL in WWDC. Although, they accept it in iAds. And apparently Microsoft sees this open 3D graphics API as 'flawed'. 


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


     


    Correct: the WEB standard (or collection of standards). Outside the browser, though, there are better tools for a great many things. A web app (meaning a browser view even if not in Safari), for the foreseeable future, just cannot be as good at the best native apps. And apparently Facebook wasn’t much different from a web app!


     



     


    I completely agree with your statement. When they launched Facebook for iOS, UI was not intuitive as it should generally in iOS. When it comes to bringing the desktop apps to the portable form factor, Facebook actually needs to learn a lot from Apple. Actually nobody does it better then Apple. It's also same scenario when it comes to implementing few mobile utilities to the desktop as we all know. 

  • Reply 19 of 21
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,292member
    Personally Facebook is becoming less desirable to use, over bloated, majorly creeping big brother and the fact that most of my friends have just stopped using it anywhere near as much as a few years ago.

    Hear hear!
    thejd wrote: »
    With the release of ios6's shared photo streams and a private YouTube channel, I will most likely be dropping Facebook for these very reasons.

    Double hear hear!
    lostkiwi wrote: »
    Delete

    Delete indeed. This FB is total poppycock.
  • Reply 20 of 21
    sr2012sr2012 Posts: 896member


    Don't care. Too many stalkers and scammers for my liking.

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