Facebook Android App Finally Gets a Speed Boost

Image credit: Facebook

Apple iPhone users got an early, long-awaited Christmas present late last night, and now Android Facebook addicts are getting something they may have had on their gift lists - a faster Android app.

"Facebook for Android 2.0 is twice as fast when looking at photos and opening your Timeline and noticeably quicker to launch," Facebook's Phillip Fung wrote in a post on Facebook today.

Facebook says the speed boost will be substantial - opening the app will be faster, viewing photos will be faster and opening your Timeline will be faster. In sum: everything will be faster.

That's music to Android users' ears. The existing Facebook app could be incredibly slow, making users wait for a photo to load or their Newsfeed to refresh.

Facebook similarly sped up its iPhone and iPad app in August. It said it rewrote the software, and has done it again for Android.

"Today, we're releasing a new version of Facebook for Android that's been rebuilt in native code to improve speed and performance," said Frank Du of Facebook's engineering team. "We rebuilt several of Facebook for Android's core features in native code, including news feed and timeline, to create a faster experience whether you're opening the Facebook app, looking at photos, or interacting with friends."

All of this comes as Facebook has promised to improve the mobile experience for users. After the company went public in May, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised major mobile changes, though he denied the rumors that Facebook would build its own phone. "There are a lot of things you can build in other operating systems as well that aren't really taking, that aren't really like building out a whole phone, which wouldn't make much sense for us to do," Zuckerberg said on an earnings call in July.

The update for the Facebook Android app is ready today. Something tells us Android users will be moving as fast as Facebook's new app to download it.