Don’t you just hate Facebook’s iOS app, a glorified HTML5 web app wrapped with an Objective-C shell? We do: it’s sluggish for a native apps and unresponsive more often than not. Facebook feels your pain and they’re about to do something about it, allegedly re-writing the program from the ground up with speed in mind…

The changes will affect the underlying technology rather than the user interface or the feature set.

Nick Bilton, writing for the New York Times, has it from two unnamed Facebook engineers that a completely rebuilt Facebook for iOS app is coming next month:

Facebook has completely rebuilt its iOS application to optimize for one thing: speed… Many of the components of the current version of the Facebook app are built using HTML5, a Web-based programming language… The current version of the app is essentially an Objective-C shell with a Web browser inside.

It’s going to be really fast in that it’ll take full advantage of the iPhone’s hardware, Bilton reports:

When it comes to speed, this is like putting the engine of a Smart Car in the body of a Ferrari. Applications that are predominantly HTML5 render most of the components of an app as a Web page, pulling images and content from the Web directly into the application.

Objective-C takes the opposite approach, taking full advantage of the hardware in the iPhone and then building most of the functionality directly into the application so it has to collect less information from the Web.

Looks like our prayers have been listened and that Facebook will have a truly native iOS client after all.

Message to Facebook: next time your iOS user base complains about obvious missteps, try fixing them ASAP.

Do you use mobile Facebook site on your iPhone or their sluggish iOS app?

  • does anyone know what the last compatible update for the first iphone was? i accidentally deleted it, but, i updated on my ipad, so now i have no app for my iphone. i hate the facebook webapp.

  • I’ve endured the sluggish app for too long, this is great news.

  • Darkstar1062


  • Howard Ellacott

    Yay! I’ve been using the web app for ages! This is much better 😀

  • Aric Bolf

    Awesome! I hope it happens. It is really irritating to try and use facebook app on 3G

  • Lnds500

    “for iPhone” then why is the iPad version diplayed?

  • i just wish when i get a notification on my phone, it actually goes to the notification, not the stupid notification list. meh.

    • maybe you could get it, when somebody understands what are you trying to say.:P

      • so when u get a notification on the lockscreen in ios, when u slide to unlock, it goes to the notification list in facebook, not to the actual post. so it pretty much means u have to tap twice to actually go to the darn post.

      • Maybe because if there are multiple notifications piling up on your lockscreen it will be difficult to determine which post you want to go to don’t you think

    • billypuntove


    • Falk M.

      This annoys me like crazy, too! >_>

    • Try to delete it and install it again. It will ask you to allow push notifications. Accept it. Maybe it’ll get fixed. Or the push notification settings are wrong.


  • Mohd Syazwan Zainal

    Current Fb app is not just slow, but its also lacks some ability like tagging peoples in posts.

    • Bob6666

      Or resizing or saving pictures to your phone.

      • Um… You can save pictures to your phone from within the app. Just load the photo, press the button in the top right and select “Save Photo”…

      • Falk M.

        It’s often the sharing of shared content that doesn’t work and all I get offered is to save it.
        cba to save to camera roll (if it is not a website *cough cough*) and then re-upload it… de fuq?

  • I knew this would happen when they launched the Camera app. When the new Messenger app launched I was 100% sure and only because of the icon, haha. The new app will probably have a similar icon.

  • Does anyone else notice Facebook running faster on iOS 6? Because it seems to be running faster than usual since I updated

  • I have recently given up on the app. Got tired of not being able to copy url;s or share or read the captions to photos (they are rendered in tiny text below the picture, instead of on the side like the web page).

    Speed has been another issue especially when you are on a very active group and a heated discussion is going on in three different posts.

    I’ve flipped over to the mobile website and gave the facebook app a two-star rating.

  • Yes! FB’s iPhone app is just too slow and sluggish!

    Another Feature that needs to be included with the app is the ability to “SHARE” posts!!

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been using the App on my phone and wanted to share a post with my friends, but it is not even available!!! WTF???

    So, are you also hoping they will finally include the “SHARE” feature along with faster speed???

  • About G.D. time.

  • iamlynda

    Great news! Hopefully they’ll surprise us with a few other fixes. I hate the iPad app – hopefully they’ll now be the same. Please add the “share” feature – I use FB mostly on my iDevices

  • ghulamsameer

    Honestly, the developers at Facebook took much too long with this announcement. They should’ve re-worked the app once they realized its ratings in the app store are pitiful. I know plenty of people who barely use Facebook now because they would always access it from their phones and the app is simply unmanageable. However, I am very excited to see how the app turns out.

  • tward09

    It is about time. The facebook app we have right now literally makes me want to delete my account.

  • Finally. V3.3.3 was the last version that worked.

  • Wooow good news
    Thanx so much
    I was thinking about this thing in ten minutes

  • I’m perfectly happy with my facebook app on my ipad and iphone,although going to timelines on the facebook iphone app can be a little bit slow but i’m pefectly happy with their current iOS app! BUT what i really need is a facebook messenger app for ipad

  • It’s because of the wonderful developer known as chpwn

  • Sadly theres not gonna be a redesign they just made the app more Obj-C and less HTML5.

  • When will come this new facebook app? Is there any certain date?