Facebook Camera and Facebook Messenger are very slick apps on iOS, but the app for the Facebook client lagged behind. While the core features were good, the interface could be clumsy, it could take forever to load, and certain pages wouldn’t update properly. Facebook version 5.0 for iPhone and iPad advertises ease of use and improved speed. So let’s take a look at the improvements and see what changes were made.
The photos have been improved to behave more like Facebook Camera. I find that opening photos is now far faster, as they do not seem to just open new web pages as with the previous version. The pictures in the news feed simply fill the screen when tapped, and can be dismissed by swiping up or down on the screen. Comments within photographs now appear in a white ‘Web 2.0′ rectangle, similar in appearance to the iPhone’s built in twitter client. It is now possible to ‘like’ individual comments from the photo browser.
Facebook now notifies when you have additional stories in your news feed, with a notification bar that contains the number of updates. Just tap on the to see the new stories loaded on the top of your page. You don’t need to pull down the feed to refresh. The new comments are already loaded.
There are a few minor interface changes around the app. Names in notifications are now black and bold instead of blue; pages display a message while loading; and the banner buttons for Status, Photo, and Check In have been tweaked. The menu bar is still on the edge of the screen, largely unchanged.
As for speed, Facebook 5.0 definitely feels more responsive than in previous versions. The scrolling isn’t entirely smooth on my aging iPhone 4, it’s a little jerky as if there are occasional missing frames in animation, but at least it does not lag or pause.
Overall, while Facebook 5.0 is faster, easier to use, and has lifted Facebook Camera’s photo viewer, it’s still Facebook. All the services you know and love still work, all the privacy concerns you may have had are still there, the app just doesn’t feel as dated as it previously did.
Download Facebook for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch – FREE [iTunes App Store]
Have you noticed an improvement in Facebook’s speed, stability, and ease of use on the iPhone? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.