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Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) iPhone app, often criticized for being incredibly slow and heavy, is set to receive an overhaul. The social network is working on completely rebuilding its Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS application specifically to optimize it for speed, and will release the update next month, the New York Times reported.
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Facebook’s mobile presence has been the focus of much conversation over the past few weeks. With the company going public, analysts have been concerned the social network does not have a strong enough presence on a platform that is increasingly being preferred by users. With more and more users using their mobile device more frequently to access their Facebook profile, a more efficient application, and a better planned advertising strategy, are being considered necessities for healthy revenue growth for the company.
The new application has reportedly been built using Objective-C, the programming language usually used to build applications for iOS, and does away with HTML5, a web-based language that is used in the current version of the program. Objective-C will help the app take full advantage of the hardware in the iPhone and build most of the functionality directly into the application so it has to collect less information from the web.
However, the design of the app remains the same, with the focus primarily staying on speed. Facebook is said to be testing the update to ready it for a summer release.
In late 2011, Dave Fetterman, an engineering manager at Facebook, had said that the company had chosen to build its apps using HTML5 so that it could take advantage of reusing programming code across multiple mobile platforms. However, that has not earned the social network many fans on the mobile platform. At Apple’s App Store, out of 38,000 reviews, more than 21,000 customers have given the Facebook app a single star, with users repeatedly describing the app as being slow and crashing frequently.
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