Back in October — after many months of speculation and rumors — Facebook launched its long-anticipated iPad application. The app was notable for two reasons: first, it was the first time the social network offered an official app for Apple’s tablet, and second, because it included an overhauled UI for Facebook’s immensely popular iPhone app as well.
Improvements include persistent messages and notifications on the top of the screen, and a nav bar that’s accessible from nearly anywhere within the app (you don’t have to keep jumping back to the ‘Home’ screen to access your Messages, Events, and so on, as you used to).
Now Facebook appears to have brought the same improvements to its Android application, with an update that will soon be rolling out. The update isn’t showing up for me on Android Market yet, so I haven’t been able to try it out, but based on screenshots in Facebook’s announcement it strongly resembles the iOS applications. When it does go live on Market, you’ll be able to download it right here.
Facebook’s blog post also says that photos are up to twice as fast in the new version of the Android app.
One other thing to look for: yesterday Engadget posted leaked screenshots of (what appears to be) this update. The Engadget photos also show a standalone Facebook ‘Nearby’ app, which Facebook’s blog post today does not mention — it’s unclear if this is a different app that hasn’t been released, or if it will be offered alongside today’s update.
Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 weeks, half of the schools in the Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. Zuckerberg immediately recruited his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin to help build Facebook, and within four months, Facebook added 30 more college networks. The original...