Facebook Goes Native on Android

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Facebook is speeding up its Android App by ditching HTML5 and rebuilding it natively just like the iOS version, says Tech Crunch.

Facebook for Android 2.0, now on Google Play, replaces the hybrid native/webview code with an all-native infrastructure, making the app much faster.

It follows Facebook’s iOS update this August that drastically improved speed and user reviews.

TechCrunch says Facebook originally changed its native iOS and Android apps to partly become webviews wrapped around its HTML5 mobile site. This let it push code once to update m.facebook.com, and both apps simultaneously.

But as smartphone penetration and Facebook’s user count increased, stability and speed suffered. So nine months ago Facebook backtracked, rebuilding its mobile apps natively and focused on speed.

Facebook says core features have been improved with native code, including news feed and Timeline. Now, you can comment and like a story more quickly, and photo loading is optimized to be much faster. They also built a new, automatically updated story banner to bubble up the newest stories, no matter where you are in news feed.

Despite Facebook’s decision to “go native”, it doesn’t seem to have had much influence on the attitudes of other developers around the use of HTML5, according to a recent survey.

Kendo UI, which did the survey, makes tools to create HTML5 apps. The most cited reason (73 percent) for using HTML5 was familiarity with languages such as HTML, JavaScript and CSS, with greater reach and cross-platform support not far behind at 62 percent.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Thursday, December 13th, 2012 at 12:28 pm .

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