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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:01 PM   #1
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Facebook Abandoning HTML5 to Speed Up iOS App






Facebook 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:
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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]

Article Link: Facebook Abandoning HTML5 to Speed Up iOS App
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:04 PM   #2
applefanDrew
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Finally!
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:04 PM   #3
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About damn time.
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:05 PM   #4
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:10 PM   #5
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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.
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:10 PM   #6
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Finally!!!!!
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:11 PM   #7
aristobrat
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I'm all for a faster app, but the current HTML5 one was wayyyyyyyyyy faster for me a few months ago than it has been recently, so it seems like something else has been going on with them. Even from a desktop browser, Facebook has been slower/glitchier lately than before.
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:13 PM   #8
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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.
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:13 PM   #9
SYale
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My first iPad was an iPad 3. Since I'm kind of new to what it means for an app to be integrated (Twitter), what does it mean for FB to be integrated come iOS6? Does it allow the app to run smoother, etc.? This is cool news though because I typically use Safari for FB rather than their app, haha.
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:14 PM   #10
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If its anything like the Facebook Camera app, then I'm all in. That app is super slick and damn fast.
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:18 PM   #11
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:o

ABOUT FRIGGEN TIME.

Having 3k+ Facebook "friends" and this HTML5 nasty has produced a HORRIBLE experience. As an app developer myself, I have never understood how the Facebook QA team was okay with such a horrible user experience.
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SYale View Post
My first iPad was an iPad 3. Since I'm kind of new to what it means for an app to be integrated (Twitter), what does it mean for FB to be integrated come iOS6? Does it allow the app to run smoother, etc.? This is cool news though because I typically use Safari for FB rather than their app, haha.
Facebook and Twitter integration are key features of iOS 6. From the notifications center you'll be able to post a status on Facebook or tweet a tweet. (Does that sound funny to anyone else?) Also, in iOS 6 it's easier to share webpages and even links to apps on the App Store through the share button in Safari and the App Store.
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:20 PM   #13
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Damn... with so many iPhone users that complain about the FB app, this should have been Front Page news!
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:21 PM   #14
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Awesome. Too bad they aren't using this opportunity for a slick redesign.
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:24 PM   #15
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I really hate apps that are basically just a container for a web page just to make cross-platform porting easy.

If I were an app developer, I'd sacrifice easy portability for my app running smooth on every platform. If that means hiring someone else to do the Android version, so be it.

It should be built for the platform, with the platform's native language, not as a mobile website.

And I really hope they add the "Share" button. It's been missing since v1.
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:25 PM   #16
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Good, I stopped using it years ago since it was too slow to use. When it takes 3 minutes to update your status, what's the point? It's not like it's that important anyway, if it takes so long to load, might as well not do it.

I've been using the desktop site on my iPod Touch and it works much better than the app, and is full featured.
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:27 PM   #17
TylerL
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I have to think Facebook Messenger, Facebook Pages Manager, and Facebook Camera were used as testing grounds for an overhaul of the main app. Looking forward to a smarter, lighter app.
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:27 PM   #18
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Welcome to the 21st century, facebook.
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northgrove View Post
Awesome. Too bad they aren't using this opportunity for a slick redesign.
a redesign that surely many would object to...though still use anyway.

Wondering if the new timeline aspect of it is what made it glitchy more recently. I know I click to view a post and it takes me to my friends list.
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:30 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by ndpitch View Post
Welcome to the 21st century, facebook.
Yes, leaving behind that Bronze-Age technology, HTML5.

Sarcasm aside, this is very, very welcome news.
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:37 PM   #21
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I wonder if this new app will remember my "sort by" preference (which I have to set to "Most Recent" at least three times a week in the current app).
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:52 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by adildacoolset View Post
It's too late. With Facebook integration in iOS 6, there is no need for a lousy, stinking, disgusting, revolting, repulsive, sickening, nauseating, stomach-churning, unpalatable, distasteful, foul, nasty, yucky, icky, gross Facebook app.
Why not? iOS 6 doesn't let you read anything, only post. Notifications are a property of, yep... the app.
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:56 PM   #23
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Nice! So they hired some non-web developers.
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:56 PM   #24
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Thank the good Lord! Certainly on the iPad Facebook is horrendous!
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Old Jun 27, 2012, 01:58 PM   #25
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I would bet, they will just use Flash Builder.
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