Aug 03 AT 8:01 PM Anthony Domanico 75 Comments

Facebook for Android gets a massive UI overhaul in 1.3 update

Facebook for Android today quietly released an update to their native Android application, bringing a much needed UI improvement, in-app support for Facebook events and friend requests, a new notification bar, and in-app video playback.

I will cautiously admit to owning an iPod Touch, which I purchased before I ever owned an Android phone. It has been a bit painful to see the iPhone version of the official Facebook application keep getting better while it’s Android counterpart remained mostly stagnant. This release brings us back up to par with the iPhone application. In fact, the 1.3 update also brings a stream of pictures at the bottom of the main screen, something the iPhone application can’t yet do. This should give us bragging rights for at least a short while.

Overall, though the 1.3 update really is simply catching up to the iPhone counterpart, it is a much-needed and welcomed update in terms of both UI improvement and added features. The final product is slick and is tenfold better than previous versions.

Check out what’s new in the screenshots below, and head over to the market and download/update it for yourself.

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Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • http://Website Glenn

    How do we access this in-app video playback that you mentioned?

    • geniusdog254

      I think it’s like if somebody posted a video on their page, you can watch it in the app. I’m not sure sure its something you can access per say.

      Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

      • http://Website Gee

        My guess is that it’s a player for videos that were uploaded to Facebook itself and not for videos that were shared from a 3rd party source. Not too many people I know upload videos so I can’t confirm.

        • http://Website Glenn

          I tried clicking on one of my own videos that I uploaded to Facebook, and it only showed the thumbnail, along with all the comments it received. When I clicked on the thumbnail again, the QWERTY keyboard popped up.

          • http://Website Derek

            Press and hold on that post, what options open up? I think thats how you do it.

      • http://Website mike

        i’ve tried it, and when you clock on a video it loads it via the selected video application on your phone, so for example the default video player

  • geniusdog254

    Thank God! Its about time! Lol now none of my iPhony friends can laugh about the crappy FB app on Android :D

  • Vazguard

    It’s about time. Zuck must’ve been testing it with his profile when that blew up.

  • guitarfreak846

    I can’t figure out how to get video playback working….otherwise…good update. We need to be able to view comments and likes that come through the notifications on the actual status’ instead of the mobile site, though.

  • HardNoks

    The widget seems to be malfuntioning for some people (including me). And the video playback doesn’t seem to work

    • http://Website David

      Try a reboot and the widget sorts itself out. You may have to remove and re-add though.

  • http://Website jayy336

    ook, taking it one step at a time. But, honestly, i STILL will be using the mobile version of facebook instead, just because i want IN APP checking of the notifications. I hate how it sends me to the browser to check the notifications when it can easily be done from the app itself.

    • kennyk11 does in app notifications just fine… do u not see the HUGE notification bar below the pics at the bottom of the home screen??.. just drag it up man! and there you’ll find all of your notifications.. whenever a new one comes in .. it opens it up automatically and does it all in app without taking you to the mobile site.. it actually has been doing this for about 2 weeks now even before this 1.3 came out

      • Rob Parker

        True, except that tapping on those notifications still opens the browser (to the full Facebook site…) rather than opening the content in the app *facepalm*

        In better news, it appears they’re trying to match the UI design of the Twitter app with this release (see the placement of new message and search icons on top bar in both apps).

      • HardNoks

        wow kenny…wow

  • http://Website Tad

    Notifications still redirect to the browser.

    The Comments icon at the top of the screen seems to just load up the News Feed. I don’t know if that’s what it’s supposed to do, but either way it’s misleading.

    So yes it’s an improvement, but we’re still behind the curve.

    Thinking ahead, I really want either Facebook’s app or mobile site to provide the same privacy options for status updates as they do on the regular site.

    • http://Website Gee

      The comment icon is actually status icon. I *think* pressing newsfeed only brings up the newsfeed while the status icon brings up the newsfeed but with the status input highlighted.

  • http://Website Ben Tolmachoff

    Where’s the ability to IM? Would be a great feature to have on the Android app.

  • http://Website Gee

    The iOS version is still better but I am definitely enjoying the progress. It still needs more features built in so we don’t get forwarded to the mobile site for certain things, chat would be a HUGE welcome, and so would the use of Froyo’s new push notifications.

  • http://Website Phil

    Bout damn time. I know it hurts their pride to have to go back and support the platform they said nobody cares about. Now only a fool can ignore it. I laugh at them everytime the update the Android app.

  • http://Website Brian

    I installed it, and now my Vibrant runs like poop. I said POOP! Uninstalling, wish I could go back.

  • http://Website Ricky

    doesnt work with 1.5. AAAAHHHH. this sucks so bad.

  • http://Website Chris Dinarte


    • http://Website Mast3rShake

      Stop being 12 and just text them.

  • http://HorribleUpdate...Almostpurelycosmetic... Gary

    Content still takes forever to load.

    Clicking a Notification still opens the browser instead of loading content and a comment box within the application.

    Updates for this app are few and far between while features continue to lag more than a year behind other facebook apps.

    I just want a real update that does real, functional things.

    • kennyk11

      .it does in app notifications just fine… do u not see the HUGE notification bar below the pics at the bottom of the home screen??.. just drag it up man! and there you’ll find all of your notifications.. whenever a new one comes in .. it opens it up automatically and does it all in app without taking you to the mobile site.. it actually has been doing this for about 2 weeks now even before this 1.3 came out

      • http://Website Derek

        I dont know what crap you’re smoking but if you click on anything in the notification area, it pulls up the browser. If you had ever used the iphone facebook app, you’d know that the android version is garbage.

  • http://Website eye9

    Still wish the notifications when you click on it.. that it actually opens within the NATIVE app rather than opening the browser =\

  • http://Website droidwolf

    Some mite hate me for saying this but I don’t have any of these problems. I have all I need for facebook with email and motoblur. And yes I love motoblur no opening apps just right there where I want it when I turn my phone on status update pic update facebook messages everything right there without any app opening. Love motoblur but one thing I hate is not haveing the 2.x update yet come on moto. Cliq user

    • HardNoks

      You could get the leaked 2.1 update.its working great for me and its pretty easy to don’t even have to root the phne

  • http://Website UniqueNate

    It works just fine on mines. I’m wondering how and where the videos are supposed to show but it seems to be running smooth and no lag on mines. I just think it’s missing some features to complete the perfect Facebook app. You know chat, and being able to show videos on the news feed and having the video tab under peoples profile along with the photos tab and etc, and not being sent to the web every time a notification is clicked on. I never understood that. I like the new look though.

  • http://Website Jacob

    The inabiltiy to view notifications natively makes no sense at all. It is perfectly capable of doing absolutely everything the mobile site does, and better. I don’t see why the developers are being lazy.

  • http://Website Roberto Alpizar

    Still no push to device
    Still no notifications on post (but now you can go see them at least)
    Still no photo tagging

    Come on Facebook People, you can do it a lot better than this!

  • velazcod

    Notifications still open in the browser.
    Notifications actually dont work properly UNLESS you open the app and refresh.

    It’s all still the same except for the UI improvements / skin.

    The only good thing I can get out of it is that now we can watch videos without having to go to the browser.

  • http://Website Tony G.

    It wont update on my HD2 With Froyo

  • Queen Laqueefa

    More of the same, sticking with Bloo.

  • http://Website Leonard

    still no notifications for comments on my profile, if u click on notifications these redirect you to the browser are u kiddding me??? no photo or post tagging, no chat, keep TRYING facebook , theres A LOT of room for improvement!! but i really liked the new ui

  • http://Website Case

    Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t this app actually made by a 3rd party and not facebook? I seem to remember reading something like that on the apps page on facebook.

    The iPhone app is an official facebook release, I’m not sure if the android version is.

  • http://Website Scott Kilner

    It’s nice to finally get a more significant upgrade, however I have to disagree with you – its still a long way behind the iPhone version…no chat, notifications don’t work automatically…given that this isn’t developed by Facebook, maybe it should evolve in a different direction instead of trying to copy the iPhone version?

    • lasmith

      Is it copying the Iphone version? Cause its doing a poor job.

  • http://Website Martin

    Apparently it now prevents your phone from sleeping, and drains your battery in half a day.

    • Anthony Domanico

      Hmm…haven’t experienced that problem. Have you installed anything else recently? Running CyanogenMod?

    • HardNoks

      Happened to me too. I started getting warning notices..

  • SnakeDr

    Does anyone else find it lags a lot on the Samsung Galaxy S?

  • http://Website Jah

    This is just a cleaner UI. It’s almost the same app as before (with Events being the exception), just prettier.

    We still can’t follow notifications in app;
    We still can’t tag photos;
    We still can’t update our status with photos, links or videos;
    We still haven’t got FB Chat;

    and so on.


  • kennyk11

    i really dont know what is wrong with some of the people posting here …u guys should take time out and go through the app’s features PROPERLY b4 posting..your failure to do so is very misleading to others that havnt downloaded it does in app notifications just fine… do u not see the HUGE notification bar below the pics at the bottom of the home screen??.. just drag it up man! and there you’ll find all of your notifications.. whenever a new one comes in, it shows on the status bar of the home screen, when selected it opens directly WITHIN THE FACEBOOK APP you are no longer taken to the mobile site.. it actually has been doing this for about 2 weeks now even before this 1.3 came out… the widget works just fine.. wouldnt it make sense to remove the widget and then re-add it if its not working after you just did a major upgrade to its associated program!?.. do so and reboot for goodness sake!

    • http://Website Case

      Weird. My notifications still open the mobile site. I’ve rebooted.

      • http://Website Derek

        Dont worry, that guy kenny is just a moron. He’s not smart enough to realize how dumb he sounds.

        Clicking on a notification still takes you to the mobile facebook site, not to the actual comment or profile in the native app.

    • http://Website Pat

      They are speaking of notifications in the notification bar like blackberry and IOS not in the program itself.

  • Toshiba Phones

    It is nice, Finnaly I got what I wanted!;)

  • http://Website Chancy

    It’s a well known fact that Facebook and Apple are in bed together. Coincidence that most Facebook flash games are currently being developed for iphone/ipad/ipod platform? Coincidence that the Facebook app on the iPhone trumps the apps on any other platform? I think not.

    • http://Website Derek

      While Apple and Facebook do seem to be a little cozy together, the reason the iphone app is so much better is because its so much easier to develop on iphone. Their SDK makes it really easy and the apps run natively in cocoa touch whereas most apps on android are just java and run in the android runtime environment. Java is a lesser development platform than cocoa touch. Always has been, always will be.

    • http://Website Steve

      Also the fact that the CEO of FB is an iPhone user…

  • http://Website Tim

    This is a much cleaner version. It can still get better obviously but it’s 1000x better imo. The first version sucked beyond belief, the 2nd big update was a big step forward and so is this one. Sadly it takes 5 months in between releases but…whatever. I like.

    • Anthony Domanico

      Maybe it will get more frequent updates now that Zuckerberg is using Android.

  • http://Website jazzbot

    I’m confused about this update? Every time I go into the app via the widget I go straight to the status update screen- I can’t seem to navigate to the homescreen (profile, friends, messages etc) unless I have a notification? Is it supposed to be like this? I can’t view my own profile unless I scroll down and find a post I made! Surely this isn’t right- all help appreciated!

    • http://Website Steve

      Click on the big blue FACEBOOK banner

  • http://Website deeb215

    This app is trash and I wish they hadn’t bundled it in my EVO. It sucks monsters balls! Give us real features and not some pos app that I still have to use my browser 99% of time for anyway. BTW your touch site sucks almost as bad. The end

  • http://Website derek

    sooo, anyone havin this same deal as me, when ya open the fb app, that homepage deal with the diff icons, will not change to landscape view, at all, ever, open the keyboard, im lookin at a sideways screen :/ whadafuxup

    • http://Website Steve

      I’ve got 2.2 on D1. Same problem. FB clearly needs some serious QA attention.

      • http://Website derek

        yep, same deal, updated to 2.2. on my d1 last night, n yeah, that screen wont go to landscape view, kinda annoying lol oh well, give it a lil bit see what happens, see that mark switched over to an android phone.. hopefully thats good news for us.. n while im here, you been able to get flash 10.1 on urs with 2.2?? i had no luck with it

  • http://Website oleg

    I still miss automatic notification. The 30 minute notification update interval feels old school in a bad way. Plus going to the mobile site when clicking on a notification is really annoying.

  • http://Website deeb215

    Thanks for voting me down for an honest opinion, you’re too kind.

  • Vineares

    I’m confused. People are saying that the notifications bring you to a browser, but mine drags up a bar from the bottom (pretty much opposite of the Android notification bar) and shows me all of the notifications I have.

    • Vineares

      OH I SEE. Never mind ; )

  • http://Website giovanny55

    Good update like all the ui things improvements
    but honestly the fucking iphone app with the chat
    and the zoom in/out multi-touch
    still killing my android version.

  • lasmith

    I’m glad to see some forward progress. But the app is still very poor. Not being able to stay in the app to do stuff is super annoying. I’m confident the facebook app will get better with time.

  • http://Website Honn

    Looks great but drains my battery way too fast. Had to unistall.

  • http://Website deeb215

    anybody notice any lag after updating this app?

    -Froyo flavored EVO

  • http://Website worldbfree4me

    AndroidPolice dot com is reporting that this new Facebook update has a bug and drains the mighy EVO’s battery even while the phone is in-active. They recommend rolling back the update until this big is fixed.

  • http://Website deeb215

    Thanks @ worldbfree4me

  • http://Website deeb215

    EVO owners, the app has been updated to address the battery draining bug. Enjoy *sarcasm

  • http://Website Devin

    I switched to an iPhone from a Cliq a few months ago but I still follow this website to stay caught up because my entire family owns androids, and I can say without a doubt that the android facebook will never be as good, even with this much needed update.

  • http://Website andy

    really messed up my phone: drained my battery and caused lots of lagging. had to have my phone wiped. and the whole notifications taking you to the browser sucked too. i uninstalled it and am now running the factory one.

  • radits

    finally… but battery… :(