back to article Facebook ditches mobile HTML with native Android app

Four months after Facebook infamously switched its iOS mobile app from an HTML-based app to a native one, the social network has followed suit with a native app for Android, completing its transition away from web-based mobile development. "Facebook for Android 2.0 is twice as fast when looking at photos and opening your …


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  1. M Gale

    Oh, awesome.

    Another version of the shit that can't be uninstalled from various phones and sits there taking up space whether you want it or not.

    How wonderful.

    1. LarsG

      Yes .

      Now that it is harvest time, all your information can move and be shared by Facebook at faster speeds.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yes .

        LarsG you're of no interest to anyone, why do you care?

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Oh, awesome.

      And not just taking up space, but actively running and eating your battery as well.

      The battery life on my Xoom doubled when I rooted it and removed the twit & fb apps.

    3. Chet Mannly

      Re: Oh, awesome.

      "Another version of the shit that can't be uninstalled from various phone"

      Tell that to all the Samsung SNS data mining, (sorry, social media) services that came on my Galaxy. 2 clicks with Titanium backup, and *poof* gone forever :-)

      Not sure about iOS, but if you have root on Android there's nothing you can't uninstall. FB are obviously pinning their hopes on sheeple being too ignorant or lazy to do so (unfortunately relying on people's laziness and ignorance is a pretty fair corporate strategy)...

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: Oh, awesome.

        Chet, rooting your device comes with certain 'side effects', like compromising your warranty (although you can unroot), compromising the security of apps like google wallet, there are drm issues i.e. huluplus & android movie rentals don't work. Not everyone wants to root their device just to deal with crap like this, some of us just pick a different phone o/s.

        I am tired of bloated apps I have no use for taking up space and not being able to remove them. It's one thing if they are 2-3mb but when they start ballooning it gets stupid.

        1. Ian Yates

          Re: Oh, awesome.

          "android movie rentals don't work"

          Yikes! I'd better let them know, as it's working on my rooted Sensation...

          1. Ilgaz

            Re: Oh, awesome.

            Good for you but someone should lose their job for this.

        2. sisk

          Re: Oh, awesome.

          rooting your device comes with certain 'side effects', like compromising your warranty

          Odds are if you need to put in a warranty claim and can't unroot before you take it in then the phone's in no condition for them to be able to tell it's been rooted.

          compromising the security of apps like google wallet,

          There's no security in Google Wallet to begin with. Only a fool would use it in the first place.

          there are drm issues i.e. huluplus & android movie rentals don't work.

          Not true on all three counts. My DRM protected content (mostly books, admittedly) all still works just fine on both of my current Android devices and did on the one I replaced earlier this year. HuluPlus works fine on my rooted tablet, and I've rented movies on both my current phone and my tablet through Google. This all despite the fact that no Android device I have ever owned has gone more than a day in my hands without being rooted.

          1. Rampant Spaniel


            Thanks for the corrections. I did look at rooting my phone a while back and found many reasons why I should but also those reasons (mainly the drm on hulu) as to why I shouldn't. It would appear things have changed or there was a lot of misinformation on the internet (theres a shock). I shall have to give it a shot!

    4. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: Oh, awesome.

      Just checked, it's nearly 20mb and can't be moved to the sd card. WP8 gets more attractive by the day. Why the hell can I not uninstall it?

    5. Ramiro
      Thumb Down

      Re: Oh, awesome.

      I'm going through the bother of rooting my phone *exclusively* to uninstall the facebook app.

    6. Ilgaz

      Great news for black hats

      Now you have a specific, single target that you know it is running, serving and if you are lucky (99%), the victim has logged in.

      Now we all know which will be the next "flash player for windows".

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google should thank Facebook

    For rescuing Android sales.

    Google did try with that G+ shite but FB is where the data is.

    1. Mike Judge

      Re: Google should thank Facebook

      Have you actually tried g+? The app is a million times better than the Facebook one, and if you add yourself to the right circles the conversation and content is too.

      Rather than being lazy and assuming what some writer in the press that was stupid enough to buy Facebook shares tells you about Facebook is true, actually TRY it..

      1. Ilgaz

        Re: Google should thank Facebook

        Google lost me once they did stupid trickery like forcing google+ account to post reviews on market. I am absolutely sure now that we have a new Microsoft in hand.

        It requires real name and I won't hit that low to fake my identity to post reviews, positive or negative.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WAP 3D - The revenge

    So just when we all thought sense had prevailed, and the web was going to be a one-platform-for-all solution, and we looked back on WAP as a mistake made by people who "just didn't get it"... We've all gone back to square minus one with closed, dedicated apps for most of the things that used to be websites.

    And the developers are back to the same working environments as the tag soup days, having to maintain HTML4, HTML5, Android, iOS, Flash and a misguided mobile HTML version of the same thing.

    This has always been the problem with advocates of W3C standards. They see ideals, whereas the reality of business is that all this horrible complication scratches each other backs and generates money and power for the businesses concerned. The hassle of having to maintain 10 different implementations of your site at the same time is an irrelevance to the boardroom executives who make the decisions.

    After all, they know that all us techies do all day is right-click on things to make it all happen by magic, drink too much company coffee and irritate all the important staff in the office with our awkward and obstinate attitudes toward simple matters such as helping Claire in accounts install Internet Explorer 6 on her new iPad so she can access our Intranet with it.

    "It doesn't have a web browser, only Safari, which is Apple."

  4. J. R. Hartley

    About bloody time!!!

    The old app was possibly one of the worst i've ever used. A quick glance at the reviews on Play Store tells you all you need to know.

  5. Nick De Plume

    Take a page out of Google+

    It may be totally different in its execution, but the Google+ app works like a charm (should you wish to use it, that is).

  6. Ron Christian

    well that's ok...

    Now, if they could produce an Android widget that didn't get wedged and hang the phone, they'd really have something.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Alternative Implied Headline

    HTML / Web App processing on Android is really slow!

    Just sayin!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Alternative Implied Headline

      "HTML / Web App processing on Android is really slow!"

      And you came to that conclusion by comparing the HTML 5 Facebook app to... the native iOS app?

      Or are you really implying that rendering HTML should be as fast as using a small number of re-usable views to display the content?

  8. heyrick Silver badge


    Damn thing is hardwired into my phone and can't be uninstalled. I was determined that I was not going to give it my login details and... a little while later... - which pretty much justified my thinking.

    The (few) times I use Facebook on my phone, it'll be the web version. If/when that stops working, I'll just stop using Facebook. No big loss to me...

    1. Chet Mannly

      Re: Sorry...

      "The (few) times I use Facebook on my phone, it'll be the web version."

      A good FB app is Tinfoil. Essentially its a web browser that runs the FB mobile site, but its sandboxed - so FB can't access GPS, IMEI, Serial number, contacts etc.

  9. Paul Shirley

    who knows what would happen if they hire experienced programmers?

    Bloody hell, if applying the basic 'we can do them in our sleep' level optimisations is worth blogging about I begin to understand why they thought HTML5 was the way to go - presumably they though an optimised HTML5 stack would easily outperform the shit their Java beginners were churning out!

    How FB survives is beyond my understanding.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: who knows what would happen if they hire experienced programmers?

      "easily outperform the shit their Java beginners were churning out!"

      Time for a new word.

      Begingeneer: Someone with the pretensions of being a software engineer while waiting for the ability fairy to wave her magic wand over him/her.

  10. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge
  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It wants permission to modify my contacts. Given that facebook has previous form for unilaterally deciding to change third party email addresses to facebook email addresses there is no chance that this app will ever be installed.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Face...? Book...?

    Is that some kind of website I should care about, or something?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Facebook?

      Garlic...? Bread...?

      Face...? Book...?


      1. M Gale

        Re: Facebook?

        Difference is, they are both the future for very different reasons.

        Garlic Bread is actually nice.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't think anyone was saying use HTML5 instead of native code in the mobile apps world. The attempt to get rid of browser plugins was the main focus of HTML5.

    So Facebook were just trying to be clever and failing.

  14. JeeBee
    Thumb Up

    A far better experience than previous Android attempts

    Instead of being clever and wring a comment dissing Facebook for not having a native Android app before now, and for having hoped that HTML5 would be a good solution for a mobile, often poorly connected, device... you try designing and implementing a software platform that has 1 billion users, hundreds of millions of which are very active.

    I decided to download it to my SGS2. First run: Long wait watching a progress "circle", then the app appeared to hang.

    Second run:, it did log in, and it is a far far faster and better experience than the old facebook webapp. Hopefully the first login was a one-off.

  15. Levente Szileszky

    So it only took YEARS for the Sugarhill Gang to recognize that a universal HTML...

    ...platform also means all versions are UNIVERSALLY SLOOOOOWWWW...?

    Amazing... just how utterly stupid you have to be to actually FAIL in America when you are rich?

  16. apjanes

    "I want to dispel this myth that Facebook can't make money on mobile..."

    "...This may have seemed true earlier this year because we hadn't started trying yet."

    Um, surely not even trying to make money on mobile in 2012 is a sackable offense??! I mean how many years has it been clear that mobile is the primary platform of the future for social networking?

  17. john 19

    I refuse to install the app because it asks for a lot of permissions which I don't want to give.

    I don't want facebook to spy on me.

  18. Cuddles
    Thumb Down

    Twice as fast?

    So still shit then. Let us know when it's more like 100 times faster and no longer significantly slower than just visiting the regular site in a browser.

    1. Peter H. Coffin

      Re: Twice as fast?

      It's faster than visiting the regular site on a mobile browser in my limited experience. It's also more often sized appropriately for the device; it actually looks (on a tablet) that it was actually written with a tablet in mind.

  19. Wile E. Veteran


    I tried one of the FB apps just for grins and giggles. The biggest thing I noted was a marked increase in advertising presented relative to the mobile web version.


  20. Gannon (J.) Dick

    A new Low in Silo.

    see title.

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