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As an Android user, I can assure you the android facebook app is just as bad, if not worse. It seems the cross platfom support allows the same horrible issues to exist on all devices. For example I see the same buggy timeline [1] that he shows, on an almost daily basis.

I'm sure FB could increase their engagement by having a better mobile app. Often I want to see what my friends are up to, but just give up in frustration after waiting literally minutes for the timeline to display. I guess with such a large market share, they see no need to improve.

[1] - http://blog.mobtest.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/facebook-...




The performance is beyond terrible.

I have a Galaxy S, which is not the fastest phone in the world, but if I get a notification that someone has commented on my post or something, it can literally take minutes for the FB app to:

- Start when I click the notification

- Replace the pointless blank screen with my timeline (not that I wanted that, I wanted the notification) and the now-red notification bar

- After tapping the notification icon in the FB app (the second time I've now indicated I want to read the notification) watching the little bubble appear and wait for it to be populated with notifications

- Once it's populated, tap the notification I want (3rd indication now), and wait for that page to load.

Each of these on a 3G NZ mobile network can take 10s of seconds to complete. All the while I can't use my phone for anything else, or indeed let the screen go black and lock, because that will often drop me out of the particular step I'm up to (this may be more my phone than fb, I'm not sure of the internals).

Thinking purely as a user and ignoring the technical issues, there is something very wrong somewhere when it takes a few seconds to start a youtube video streaming but it takes a minute to view my friends 6 word sardonic reply to my kitten picture.

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The FB app experience is pretty awful on Windows Phone as well. Made tolerable only because there's a better app built into the contacts list (as part of the Me panel). One thing I really miss is being able to Like comments on a post (can only like the post) and being able to see who liked a comment (can only see that someone did).

The FB app on WebOS was bloody perfect. So many things WebOS did right... I miss that platform.

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The Facebook app is also a major battery drain. But the real kicker is the privacy violations where they grab your phone's address book to make creepy friend recommendations. I tell everybody to uninstall the app and just use the web app. If you make a shortcut to the web app it will work just as well as the native app without the privacy or battery issues.

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You realize that's not true? If you choose to enable the "Contact Sync" (the only time when they are sent your device's contacts), this page is shown: http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Technology/Pix/pictures/... Unlike the Path scandal earlier this year, Facebook has done a consistently reasonable job warning people about what they are doing (as well as having the feature off-by-default and, even if you want to use it, somewhat difficult to access).

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Are you sure that is true on Android? I don't remember where I was first told about this issue but the app does request read and write contact data permissions, https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.facebook.k...

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It has to request it on install if it is ever going to use it at all.

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Having used it for years, I uninstalled it last month and now, if required, I use the mobile web interface. The one thing I really missed was the contacts sync, but I came across HaxSync* and have been happy since.

* - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.mots.haxsy...

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EDIT: ignore my post below, I've just tried again and it would appear that m.facebook.com does now support access via HTTPS.

The problem with the mobile web interface is that it doesn't support HTTPS (unless they have changed that recently). Not a problem when you are on your own wireless or your carriers cellular network, but I wouldn't trust it on a public wireless AP (I've seen people be caught out by session stealing tricks like that illustrated by firesheep - nothing malicious but you know if someone out there is using it to joke about someone else will be using it to cause grief).

Then again, the app may well use HTTP too - I've never installed it to try so I've not profiled it to see what access method is being used.

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The Facebook app worked quite well a year ago, but I uninstalled it many months ago. The newer versions use a webview, which is horribly slow, and continuously poll the gps for some reason. There are alternatives like Friendcaster, that uses a third-party facebook application and Tinfoil for Facebook, a desktop/mobile site wrapper.

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I use the Fb app a few times a day and I'm happy enough with it.

The interface is attractive enough and doesn't have any glaring usability issues.

Performance (on my Nexus S w/ 2G connection) could improve but isn't so bad that it causes frustration.

And it's available for free and without ads.

I get the style sheet bug up to a few times a week, but it's no big deal. Just pull the page down to refresh and it's fixed.

Maybe my standards are low but I suspect 95% + of people are the same, so why would Fb bother doing it any differently?

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Great to know I'm not the only one - I had figured it was my third world internet connection. I've pretty much given up on it because it takes so long to display anything. Often if I click a link and come back to it then it goes back to loading as if it didn't cache anything.

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