Facebook says the app has been rewritten so it’ll not only open and scroll faster, but news feeds and notifications will load right away. To do that, Facebook rewrote it as a native iOS app, doing away with HTML5.

Facebook for iOS

You know how the Facebook app on your iPhone pretty much sucks? The social network has heard your complaints. On Thursday Facebook rolled out a broad rewrite of the code behind the super-slow and constantly frustrating Facebook iOS app that’s intended to speed up its performance so it’s twice as fast as the current version.

The Facebook 5 update applies to Facebook’s iPhone and iPad apps. On its blog, Facebook said the app has been rewritten so it’ll not only open faster, but news feeds and notifications will load right away. When scrolling within the app, Facebook says friends’ updates will “appear faster than ever” and there will be banners letting you know when new stories are added.

That rewriting of the code means moving away from an emphasis on HTML5 for the iOS app, which Facebook has been relying on in order to address the needs of thousands of different devices that access Facebook. AllThingsD has the details on why Facebook chose to deliver a native iOS app with this update instead:

While the current Facebook app is predominantly HTML5-based, [Facebook iOS mobile project manager Mick] Johnson and his team gutted it and rebuilt it using the Objective-C programming language, which essentially makes better use of the iPhone hardware and focuses on the advantages of using a native application, rather than render Facebook items in the app using Web data.

This doesn’t mean that Facebook is abandoning HTML5, Johnson says. “The mobile web is still very important to us, as are all of our interfaces,” he said. Problem is, HTML5 is a technology that, while promising in the long run, isn’t able to deliver the type of speed and performance we expect right now. It’s a long bet, and something that Facebook aims to continue developing.

This is one of those updates that should have been done a long time ago. Facebook is the most-downloaded free app in Apple’s mobile app store, yet the reviews are scathing — and have been for a long time. Why is Facebook getting its act together on iOS just now? It probably has something to do with Apple integrating Facebook into iOS 6, set to be released in a month or so.

Facebook didn’t leave out its Android users: updates for both iOS and Android are waiting in their respective app stores now.

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  1. Too bad the “update” didnt do anything to improve the awfully slow and buggy Android version.

  2. Yeah bravo to that, but the forgot to include a SHARE button.

    1. OMG the lack of a share button is a major major flaw! I could put up with the slowness of the previous update if only I could share things!

      The new update also appears to remove the ability to change my cover photo or to delete/edit a post or comment!

      FB still makes a lame ass app!

      1. I know right. I liked the old Facebook way better. I hate not beig able to change my cover photo. As for the sharing if u have the iPhone 4 or higher u can snap shot whatever u r trying to share and it will save into ur photos and u can share it that way. But would be a lot easier to just bring back the share button ;)

      2. If you using your iPhone log in to Facebook through safari and u can still upload and change cover photo

      3. I thought I was the only one that could not figure out how to SHARE!! What. That should be a priority for them. That’s what this is all about, right? FB.They must be waiting for something to sell. Or co-sponsor with apple! Yah they are holding out on us! We’re hooked and have no where else to go!! Not yet:/

  3. I can’t seem to tag photos too

    1. Michelle Kulisek Krystyniak Shazee Ishak Sunday, September 16, 2012

      I cannot tag photos either!

    2. Same here… But u can only tag a photo once there is someone already tagged to the photo.. I assumed this is a bug in FB app.. I can’t also use the @ tag in posting status and comment… The other way is browsing FB using safari then you are able to tag friends

  4. For ipad 2 its still slow

  5. This was a much needed update for the iOS. The app definitely appears to be twice as fast as before. Love the new notification banner.

    Still waiting on that Share button.

  6. Frankly never had any problems with the facebook app

  7. Annoyed with FB Friday, August 24, 2012

    there is no share button and can’t save/share pics

    1. Save pics by taking a screen shot (hold down on/off button on top AND round “Home” button at same time).
      Sharing, and uploading Cover Photo cannot be done apparently.

    2. Hold your finger down on the pic u want to save & the option to save it will pop up

  8. Whats with the lack of picture tagging? Are they going to fix that ever?

  9. Berta Bratton Sunday, August 26, 2012

    I love the upgrade for the iPhone for Facebook except the only problem is I can’t change my cover photo. My camera button is gone.

    1. Yes! Neither can I! I’ve just noticed the camera button is gone! I’ve searched everywhere for an answer but found practically nothing online regarding this!! Doesn’t anyone else care!? lol

      1. What a pain in the ass! I can’t either. Internet searches produce NOTHING! Thanks Apple.

    2. Try the new Facebook camera app

  10. I am also unable to tag pictures! hope that the’ll fix it soon

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