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Facebook Introduces Native iOS App, Divorces HTML5

One of the most-wanted and most-awaited Apple apps has been Facebook’s native iOS app. Till now, Facebook has been making use of HTML5 as the base for its iOS app but that left millions of users unsatisfied. Now, the social network has finally released a native iOS app, much to the joy of iOS users.


Facebook Native iOS app

While the looks of HTML5 version and native iOS version of Facebook’s app don’t look much different, there are some critical differences. One of the chief problems with the HTML5 app was that it posed significant speed challenges to the users. It would load slowly, and scrolling and photo loading on the app was quite unsatisfactory.

Using Apple’s iOS SDK, the social network’s team spent quiet a few months to bring out the native iOS version of its mobile app. And this effort shows in the final output. The team specifically targeted three points – the launching speed of the app, News Feed scrolling and finally, tagging photos within News Feed. With the new version of app, the speed on all these three focal points has been very significantly improved.

In fact, iOS Product Manager at Facebook, Mick Johnson, says, “We’re twice as fast in all these areas.” The app makes use of a lot of code from Facebook Camera and Facebook Messenger, both of which had been native. And the social network aims to continue this code sharing as Johnson says, “Going forward, we’ll utilize code sharing, as well as some assistance from the other teams.”

Apart from speed enhancements, the new app also brings many new gestures, making the Facebook experience on iOS devices more comfortable. For instance, when viewing a picture, a user can simply swipe down and go back to the previous screen.

One problem with a native iOS app is that Facebook wouldn’t be able to roll out regular updates. On the HTML5 version, the social network would roll out updates quite frequently but with iOS native app, it becomes a lot harder and more time is required to curate an update.

Johnson admits this, “We can roll out six versions of a new feature on our mobile website and still leverage that user base. but the version of our app hitting the App Store today doesn’t give us quite that flexibility.” Nonetheless, still a native iOS app for Facebook will still be welcome by the millions of iOS users who have been eagerly waiting for it. You can get the app right away from App Store.

Source: Facebook Newsroom

Courtesy: The Verge

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