Facebook speeds up Android app and improves navigation

Facebook has upgraded its Android app with better navigation, easier access to messages, and faster photo viewing, the company announced today.

The Android mobile app has always been behind the iPhone version when it comes to design and features. With this newest Android update, Facebook looks like it is finally giving its Android brethren the attention they deserve. The Android Facebook app has been downloaded more than 100 million times, so it’s strange that the app has seen much less support.

In a rather thin blog post, Facebook said three things are emphasized in the update. First, photos and albums can be viewed twice as fast. Second, messages and notifications are now accessible from an icon at the top of the app. Third, there’s a new way to navigate with a left-hand column that displays the news feed, groups, games and apps. The navigation column looks almost identical to the iOS version.

The Facebook app runs on Android 1.5 and up, so most Android phones will work with it. The new app will be live “soon” in the Android Market.

On Android, Facebook now has to contend with Google+ when it comes to mobile features. Google+ on Android lets you do mobile Hangouts with video chat, use Messenger for quick group chats and today it added a search bar that lets users find anything on the network.

A few more looks at the new Facebook app for Android can be viewed below:


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