Facebook abandons HTML5 in Android app update

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Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) unveiled an updated version of its app for devices running Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android that is now fully native in lieu of an HTML5-hybrid. The move comes three and a half months after Facebook issued a similar update for its app on Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS platform. 

Facebook 2.0 for Android

 Facebook for Android

"Over the last year, we've been retooling our mobile apps to make them faster, more reliable, and easier to use... With Android, we've moved to a fixed-date release cycle and have been steadily making improvements over time so that Facebook performs consistently across multiple platforms," explained Frank Qixing Du, an engineer for Facebook's Android team, in a blog post.

Facebook said its native Android app is two times faster than its HTML5 version, making users' News Feed, Time Line and photos load quicker than before. In August, Facebook confirmed that it had ordered its staff to use Android-enabled phones rather than iPhones so the company could improve its Android app.

In September at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted working with HTML5 had been a mistake.  "We've had a bunch of missteps on [mobile]," Zuckerberg said. "The biggest mistake we made as a company was betting too much on HTML5 instead of native... We burnt two years."

For more:
- see the Facebook blog post and this one
- see this TechCrunch article

Related articles:
Facebook's Zuckerberg says HTML5 app was a mistake
Facebook dumps HTML5 for native code in new iOS app
Facebook introduces device, OS targeting for mobile advertisers
Why Facebook wants more Android developer friends
Facebook orders staffers to ditch iPhones to improve Android app experience

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