App of the Week: A Lot to Like in the Facebook App Update, But Still Missing Key Features
Facebook has never moved quickly -- or with great agility -- in the mobile domain. The Zuckerberg empire has made a number of mind-numbingly ridiculous maneuvers when it comes to providing a quality mobile experience for its wildly popular social network. From multiple apps to handle various features of the desktop experience to limited updates to its primary app, Facebook has routinely been behind the eight ball.
With its latest update, it has at least moved a bit closer to making a fully functional app that delivers faster performance and fewer bugs, but they are still missing some of the key functions of the Web site.
First thing I immediately noticed was that pages both inside and outside of the Facebook network load more quickly. Any improvement here would be welcome, but this is definitely an increase in speed anyone who has used the app will notice.
There is also a generally cleaner interface that makes reading overall just easier. To make scrolling through your news feed faster, they opted for a scroll-up icon as well. Before, if you looked at the app and scrolled down through posts, when you reopened the app, it forced you back to the top. Now it just lets you know there are new posts and gives the user a simple button to scroll up to the top quickly.
Hey, user friendliness! What a concept!
Facebook has also cleaned up a bunch of the bugs that have been plaguing it for some time. Clicking on a friend's profile actually takes you there now instead of sending you to the events page, for example. Also, messages and "recent activity" load smoothly and don't require forced reloads to see new information.
Same goes for the photo viewer, which now has a popup window for likes and comments, which allows the user to see everything easily and quickly, including who liked it, something not supported in earlier versions.
Finally, they improved the calendar page, putting birthdays up top and organizing it more like the Web version is organized.
What Is Missing
Unfortunately, there is still quite a bit of functionality missing. Most importantly, there is no way to edit or delete a post or a comment as there is on the Web version. With so many using the app, it would seem logical that a way to edit would be at the top of the feature list, but Facebook doesn't seem to think so.