The Facebook app for iOS devices has received a significant update today, adding a new feature that first appeared with the release of the new Facebook Home user interface layer app for Android devices. The Facebook iOS app now includes ‘Chat Heads’ as a launchscreen pop-out for the app meaning that you can touch the right side of the screen and start a new messaging conversation to enable a ‘Chat Head’ on the right side of the screen. The location of the Heads can then customized on the screen, acting as a fast access button for using the Facebook messaging system. The Chat Heads are accompanied by ‘Stickers’, which essentially Emoji pictures that can be included in the messaging.
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Facebook has today released a rather interestingly titled app called ‘Poke’ for iOS devices, which allows users to send time limited messages, containing either text, photos or videos. The concept of the app is similar to Snapchat, in that that a user sends the message to one of their Facebook friends and then that friend holds their finger on the screen of their iOS device until the time runs out.
The app allows you to ‘poke’ several friends at once and gives you the option of setting a time limit of 1, 3, 5 or 10 seconds. After that pre-determined time limit expires, then your message is deleted from the Poke app. The app itself only works with iOS devices at the moment but Facebook is expected to release versions on other platforms like Android.
Facebook has just taken the wraps off a brand new iOS app, and it is available now through the iOS App Store. The app has apparently been completely rewritten from the previous version of the app, but looks very similar, utilizing Objective C code rather than HTML 5 as was previously used (via AllThingsD). The result is an app that is almost three times faster than the previous edition
Go and download the app and try it out yourself, but the first thing you’ll notice is the app is actually blisteringly fast, particularly when reading the Timeline which appears much quicker than the previous version. The speed improvements are also particularly noticeable when switching between the Message and Timeline views, with the messages appearing almost instantly. The app also opens much quicker than the previous version.
Facebook is apparently hard at work on a brand new application for iOS devices and it plans to release the new app in ‘a couple of months’. That’s according to Bloomberg who are echoing the report from the New York Times last month, that Facebook was rewriting their iOS apps from the ground up to provide a much faster, and better, user experience. While the user interface will apparently remain much the same, the ground up recoding will apparently make the experience a whole lot faster.
The intriguing thing about the new report from Bloomberg is that Facebook has apparently hired several former Apple employees with a view to generating the best iOS application they can, particularly on the iPhone. This will be great new for users who are tired of, say, waiting over a minute for the Facebook app to launch an external webpage.
Despite the fact that there is an overwhelming selection of apps available on the iOS and Mac App Stores, one of the chief complaints that many people have is that it’s getting increasingly more difficult to find good quality, but less popular, apps. While there are some alternatives to this such as scoping out the Editors picks on the App Store, looking at the top seller lists, or even going to websites to look at what others are using,
Recent reports have suggested that Facebook will be getting similar treatment in iOS 6, that Twitter received in iOS 5 i.e. full system-wide integration in Apple mobile devices. Perhaps one of the most useful aspects of this integration would be the ability to ‘Like’ apps on your device. This would enable other people in your social network to see the apps that you actually like instead of the ones that people are simply buying, which would be a fundamental change in how apps are recommended to users.
Hot on the heels of their billion dollar purchase of Instagram, Facebook has released a brand new camera app on to the iOS App Store which enables users to take pictures, edit them and then upload them to Facebook in a one silky smooth and fast movement. The app is available free of charge and, aside from the easy Facebook upload functionality, is pretty similar to lots of photo apps on the App Store. It has the standard range of filters, allowing for a fair amount of tweaking.
When you first launch the app, you’ll find that, if you have already been using Facebook on your iOS device, the app recognizes this and asks you if you want to continue as the person that you have signed in as. After that, it’s just a case of snapping the picture, applying a filter to it, or not, cropping the piccy and then firing it into Facebook.
As was expected, Facebook has released an update to the Facebook iPad app, bringing with it Retina Display compatibility for the new iPad. The update follows on from news that emerged a couple of days ago that advertisement banners for the updated app were already appearing on the iOS App Store prior to the release of the update. The update also has a number of fixes for bugs and a couple of new features listed below.
- You can go offline in chat
- The right profile picture appears for everyone
- Your list of friends always includes all your friends
- In sets of photos, your name is displayed correctly
- Photos of people who like Facebook Pages load correctly
- Your friend-request notification only lights up if you have a request
- You can change your language to Czech, Danish, Greek, Indonesian, Malaysian, Norwegian (Bokmal), Portuguese (Portugal) or Thai
- If you’ve got a new Retina iPad, you’ll see a crisp, high resolution interface
Facebook could be working on a new enhanced version of their iPad app according to a small promotional advertisement on the iOS App Store. Spotted by one of their sharp eyed readers, MacRumors points towards the advertisement which appeared in the promotional blocks in the New and Noteworthy section of the App Store (pictured above). The block has the text ‘Facebook: Enhanced for the new iPad’.
Whether or not this points towards a major revamp of the app or simply one that refers to a Retina Display enabled version of the app remains to be seen. What is desperately needed, however, is a version of the app that allows users to take advantage of the full functionality of Facebook without having to endure the multiple bugs that are currently plaguing the Facebook app, which is a strange thing to be put out from the second most popular site on the internet.
It’s a pretty exciting few weeks for iOS users with the announcement and launch of the iPhone 4S, the imminent launch of iOS 5 and iCloud and now, the new Facebook app for iPhone and iPad has been released on the App Store. While it’s been a long time coming, it’s still gratifying to finally see a dedicated app for the iPad and it’s actually rather good.
The app itself looks really cool, using the size of the iPad screen to great effect. It’s really awesome to fire up the app and see the Facebook logo staring at you from a big sea of blue. Thankfully, though, the logo only stays there for a second before you are into the good stuff. Facebook has obviously thought long and hard about the best way to get Facebook functionality onto the iPad and the app reflects this. Each ‘story’ in the News Feed is given an appropriate amount of space and is very easy to read.
Facebook could be partnering up with Apple at the launch of the iPhone 5 to introduce their own new dedicated iPad app during the rumored October 4th event. That is the story according to Mashable who are suggesting that, together with the new iPad Facebook app, Facebook will also “release a revamped version of its iPhone app and may unveil an HTML5-based mobile app marketplace“. The story goes that Facebook and Apple have also been working closely together to bring Facebook to iOS devices via an HTML 5 platform.
The rumor follows on from the news that the Facebook app may have been ready for some time but that Facebook is slow playing the launch, resulting in frustrations for former Facebook Software Engineer Jeff Verkoeyen who has talked about the delays in the app launch in a TechCrunch article.