Zuckerberg promises native Android app as company moves away from HTML5

In recent months Mark Zuckerberg’s disappointment in Facebook’s Android app has been no secret. In fact, to drive the point home to his team of developers, he forced them to switch from iOS to Android just to see how poorly the app performs. Now Zuck is acknowledging that the company’s decision to go with HTML5 early on resulted in a subpar experience and “burnt two years” of development.

At TechCrunch Disrupt, the Facebook founder says the social network will debut a native version of the app for Android soon, but added “it will be ready when it’s ready.” The app will ditch HTML5 completely and build off of the infrastructure of the iOS version of Facebook. Facebook for Android has improved in recent months, and has come along way since its early versions, but it continues to earn complaints from Android users everywhere. Going native, Zuckerberg hopes, will finally bring us the Facebook app we deserve. We do, too.

[via TheVerge]

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  • http://www.facebook.com/cameron.schluchtner Cameron John Schluchtner

    about damn time!

  • cabbiebot

    What does build off the infrastructure of the iOS app mean? A design copy?

    • pookietookie

      Exactly what I was thinking when I read that… What does this even mean? Let’s not copy ANYTHING iOS and start fresh for Android.

    • phinn

      I assume it means similar interface and API calls to their servers as iOS. I wouldn’t think they could reuse much code since iOS uses C++ or C#? I know most Android apps use java for better or worse (for worse).

      • Montisaquadeis

        From what I have herd in some circles its objective C that iOS uses.

        • Mike Reid

          Yes it’s Objective C.

          Java re-uses the basic C syntax, so a lot of the basic logic easily ports to Java.

          But they still likely have a LOT of work ahead of them. Trying to re-use their IOS app architecture and code could easily be another big mistake and burn a few more years.

          • Fred G. Vader

            You can also do iOS apps in C#, Flex and a few others, you’re not just limited to objective c.

    • Fred G. Vader

      More than likely he means they will use the same business logic as used on the iOS platform. I don’t know what language they are doing development in but you can make apps for both iOS and android using C# and the Xamarin framework. It allows you to reuse your business logic on both but you have to create your UI screens specific to the platform.

  • bigyang4life

    thats y theres google+

    • PC_Tool

      roflmao…

      er…that *was* meant to be a joke, right?

    • JulianZHuang

      What’s the point of using g+ when I’m the only who use it amount my friends and family.

    • ari_free

      Who needs google+ or facebook when we have phandroid for social contact?
      Hey, at least we don’t spend the day liking pictures of kittens and celebrating our farmville achievements!

    • RavenFox

      yup

    • http://www.facebook.com/AGx07 Chris Brown-Demoreno

      I love G+ but none of my real friends use it. Sure I’ve met people who do but no family.

    • http://www.mark717.com Mark Seven

      I can’t count with one hand the ppl I know that use Google+

    • MrDSL

      No worries I got your sarcasm…haha Google+ that’s funny.

  • ari_free

    I guess HTML5 isn’t the future after all? We’ll miss you, Flash.

    • http://www.baldypal.com/ BaldyPal

      THANK YOU! I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who caught that. Personally, I feel Adobe abandoned Flash for Mobile too quickly.

      • NIGHTSCOUT

        You can thank Steve Jobs. He probably paid Adobe for that.

      • ari_free

        There’s a big gap between compiled vs interpreted code. Flash may be proprietary but at least it wasn’t Microsoft only. Now it looks like Silverlight is the only way to go.

        • TongueDar

          I guess you didn’t get the memo. :) Silverlight has been abandoned by Microsoft when it comes to supporting other platforms. They’re only going forward with it on their latest and still to be released OS; so for other platforms, Win7, and so on, it’s dead.

          Flash on the other hand is still the absolutely dominate plug-in for desktops and supports older OSs. Adobe’s roadmap shows that there is absolutely no plans to abandon it. It’s integrated into Chrome — the number one browser currently — and its popularity and far reach is why Unity3D — which has its own desktop plug-in — now has the option to target Flash; the same goes for Epic’s engine.

          Adobe has refocused all of their mobile effort on AIR, which is Flash cross-compiled to a native Mobile app. They’re doing this for the obvious reason, that iOS does not support any 3rd party plug-ins; no Flash, no Silverlight, no Java, no Unity3D, etc. Until Apple is out of the picture, or delegated back to a 5% share, Adobe has taken the route that allows guys like me to target the most platforms.

          Just so you know, Flash’s SWF has been open source for years. You can build Flash content without giving a dime to Adobe while wearing an Open Source badge. AND to ramble further, Adobe backs many popular open source frameworks. If you want proprietary, that would be plug-ins like Quicktime. :)

          Anyways, there’s way more to this that can be rambled.

    • Ryan Herriman

      HTML5 *is* the future. Of the web. That doesn’t make it the most appropriate tool for absolutely everything, and even Apple (who you are obviously taking a swing at) would prefer that devs write purely in obj-c. Writing an app “in” HTML5 was a choice of convenience for Facebook and other developers, as it meant that the platform specific code for both iOS and Android could be very thin: load Webkit and dump your agnostic HTML5 code into it. What they are doing now is moving towards using the OS-native APIs, removing the overhead of loading a web browser. I’m frankly not sure how that’s going to improve their “performance problems” which appear to be more network than CPU or memory-related, but whatever.

      Flash would have presented the same overhead issues as the current situation, only worse because Flash is ridiculously slow, particularly the mobile version. At least Webkit is fast.

  • Marc Barbieri

    Please add an option to adjust the font size

    • http://www.facebook.com/tykratz Tyler Kratzer

      Crtl and + bigger font

  • RavenFox

    Copy off IOS …what happened to build from scratch?

  • http://twitter.com/inguatu ingua2

    Steve Jobs is climbing out of hell right now to prove the world wrong.

  • NIGHTSCOUT

    Zuckerburg to his staff: Guys, we need the Android app to syphon more data from users. Make it work.

  • http://twitter.com/inguatu ingua2

    He’ll blame the IPO fail on HTML5.. I would.

    • http://thebeeobee.com/ thebeeobee

      The IPO didn’t fail…they extracted the most money out of it that they possibly could.

  • MrSpoiler15

    I have no problem with the FB app on Android.

  • BigCiX

    I don’t have any problems cause I don’t have a Facebook.

  • tombar2

    Who wants to bet that Apple will try to sue if the Android FB app resembles the iOS???

  • Go Hawkeyes

    Easiest fix for bad Facebook app? Don’t use the stupid site to begin with.

  • Sean Daniel

    Finally! Now I can stop cussing the FB app when it glitches. Which is always.

  • http://thebeeobee.com/ thebeeobee

    It’s weird, the Linkedin ipad app is like 97% html5 and it screams. Hmm…