Facebook Speeds Up Android App By Ditching HTML5 And Rebuilding It Natively Just Like The iOS Version
Facebook’s HTML5 app nightmare is over. Later today it’s releasing Facebook for Android 2.0, which replaces the hybrid native/webview code with an all-native infrastructure to answer years of complaints by making the app much faster. The push follows August’s speed doubling iOS update that drastically improved user reviews. It’s a fitting end to the year when Facebook truly pivoted into a mobile-first company.
Here’s how the HTML5 horror story began. Facebook was looking for a way to reduce strain on its mobile teams. So it changed its native iOS and Android apps to partly become webviews wrapped around its HTML5 mobile site. This let it push code once to update m.facebook.com, and both apps simultaneously. It also let Facebook rapidly deploy small tests to segments of its mobile users without forcing them to download new versions.
That wasn’t a bad idea when the company was a bit smaller and…
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