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New Facebook for Android gets speed boost

Facebook has finally given its Android app an upgrade, unveiling an updated version that promises a significant speed bump.

"Facebook for Android 2.0 is twice as fast when looking at photos and opening your Timeline and noticeably quicker to launch," Facebook's Philip Fung said in a statement.

The revamped amp now offers a rebuilt newsfeed, notifications, and Timeline on the Android app with optimised speed.

"When you're on your phone, nothing matters more than getting what you want quickly," Fung added.

The social network has improved the photo-viewing experience, too. Tap a photo in your newsfeed for a full-screen image, or swipe through for more pics without leaving the feed.

Facebook Timelines, meanwhile, will open "more quickly than ever".

In a blog post, Facebook engineer Frank Qixing Du said the company moved from "a hybrid native/webview to pure native code, allowing us to optimise the Facebook experience for faster loading, new user interfaces, disk cache, and so on."

In September, Facebook chief Mark said the company wasted a lot of time on its HTML5 effort in recent years. The "biggest mistake" Facebook made was "betting too much on HTML5 versus native," he said. "It's not that HTML5 was bad, [but] we just were never able to get the quality we wanted."

"We burned two years" on that project, he said. "It's really painful [but] we're coming out of that now."

Facebook gave its iOS app a similar update back in August. The social network said Facebook 5.0 for iOS was twice as fast as the previous version, and it also included "instant" photo access and swiping from the news feed.