Facebook has just received a bump with the version 1.9.7 update. The update brings some new features to the table. In addition to fixing some bugs, the change log mentions that having a front facing camera on your phone will make it easier to take photos now. The major news however is that the update is Froyo only. So if you have a device running on Android 2.1 or lower, you might want to look away. Other updates include quicker log in and navigation, security improvements etc. Another major update is with regards to the messaging feature on the app. Users will now be able to send bigger photos as well as add friends of friends in conversations. Switching between existing conversations seems to have been made easier too. This is what Facebook claims to be changed with the app.
Here are my thoughts after personally using it. The app by no means is faster than before. If anything, I would say it’s a little slower. I haven’t tested the new camera feature myself, but it’s not a major update anyway, so we can pass on that. If there is something I like though, that would be the new messages option. It holds true to the promise of being much better than before. We can create group conversations like before, but can now add friends of friends, all you have to do is start typing a name and suggestions will appear below. So that’s a really cool feature. Other changes like bug fixes and security updates are really hard to make out with plain usage. Regardless, the new and improved messages option is a welcome addition.
The big minus of course is the exclusion of anything below Android 2.2 Froyo. To be honest though, there aren’t many users running on Éclair or below. Only 5.4% among all Android devices are running below Froyo. What this means is that the app is compatible with over 94.6% of Android users, that’s not too bad really. Froyo and Gingerbread still make up for a large number of Android users (over 80%), so Facebook has covered its bases.
Facebook apps on mobile have always been a little behind. The news feed isn’t as snappy as one would expect, the photos do not open completely while in the news feed, which is something users wanted to be fixed with this update. The app is still far from perfect as users suggest, but subsequent updates should change that. That’s what we hope at least. What do you guys think about the new update?
Head over to the Google Play Store to get the updated version of the app.