It’s no secret the official Facebook for Android app could use a bit of a facelift after years of ducking and dodging design guidelines. First murmurings of a redesign spawned months ago after several users noticed they were treated to a new user interface, but it seemed to be a server-side switch that Facebook controlled. Many are often whisked back to the old user interface after seeing a single glimpse.
But it looks like Facebook is finally getting a move on getting the UI to everyone, as they have enabled it by default for anyone who is signed up to be an alpha tester for the app. You’re likely salivating at the chance to use the new user interface, so let’s cut to the chase on what you need to do:
- If you’re not part of the beta group, you can skip to step 3.
- If you’re part of the beta group, you’ll need to leave it. Do so by heading to the Facebook Beta Group here, and selecting to leave the group.
- Once you are no longer part of the beta group, you’ll need to sign up for the alpha group. Do so by heading to the Facebook Alpha Group here, and selecting Join Group.
- Once you’re confirmed to be in the alpha group, you should be able to go to to the Play Store on your phone and install the latest alpha version of Facebook over your existing installation.
- Your app might have problems launching at this point. Simply go into the app’s settings (Settings > Applications > Find Facebook) and clear cache and data. You will be logged out of Facebook so make sure you remember your password.
From there you should be treated to an awesome new user interface, featuring flat iconography and swiping gestures to make Facebook for Android feel more “at home.” It isn’t full-on #HOLOYOLO, but we’ll take anything we can get at this point.
Quick disclaimer: by joining the alpha group, you’re accepting that there may be some nasty bugs. Said bugs are fixed often, which also means you’ll have frequent app updates compared to the stable version.
The alpha build is considered to be so cutting edge that features might work in one update and be completely broken in the next. As long as you understand all of that, then go wild. Let us know how you’re liking the new drags in the comments below!