If you’ve used the Facebook apps for iOS and Android recently, you’ve probably noticed that the iOS versions are considerably better. They’ve finally moved over to a native app on iOS, rather than an embedded HTML5 monstrosity, but they have yet to do so on Android. They also haven’t brought the Pages app – a vital tool for people who manage Facebook pages for bands, companies, or other organizations – to the Play Store yet.
It turns out there’s a reason for this, and it’s not that Mark Zuckerberg has a bone to pick with Larry Page. The problem is that most of Facebook’s testing and development team uses iPhones. They bought into the iOS ecosystem very early on, when Android was still pretty crappy, and they’ve just never really switched back. As a result, the iOS version of Facebook gets a lot more love inside the company than the Android version does.
Facebook has a plan to remedy this situation, though: they’ve begun actively encouraging their employees to switch to Android. They want to have as many people as possible “droidfooding” (a clever portmanteau of Android and dogfooding) the Facebook app offerings on Android, which requires a good chunk of their 4000-person strong testing team to be using Android in their daily lives.
To this end, posters like these have been showing up around the Facebook offices:
Once Facebook testers make the jump to the Android operating system, they’ll be reporting bugs using an amusing feature called Rage Shake. Basically, when they encounter a bug somewhere in the Facebook app for Android, all they have to do is shake their device violently, and it will record all the circumstances under which the bug occurred, and the overall state of the device. As funny as it sounds, it seems like a pretty effective method of catching bugs quickly and efficiently.
We wish the Facebook team the best of luck in fixing their Android app offerings, because quite frankly, they stink pretty badly in their current form.