Android Apps

Facebook for Android upgraded with Places and Groups; Zuckerberg explains why app previously sucked

November 3, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka

Lifestyle

facebook android app

At it’s mobile event today, Facebook announced that it was launching a “platform” to make it better to integrate with apps across devices. Facebook doesn’t mean platform as in operating system, but platform as implementation tool for developers and consumers to tap into on multiple phones. That includes deals from Groupon, integration with Zynga games, and single sign-on for multiple instances.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would also be upgrading its Android app to include Places and Groups. The new app hasn’t yet been pushed to the Android Market, but will be available today.

Will this be the update that finally satisfies Android users, who have traditionally been frustrated by the lack of polish and feature set enjoyed by their iPhone-wielding peers? Even when the Android app got a UI overhaul a few months ago, it still pointed to the web for several features like check-ins and photo browsing.

“The Android app has traditionally been a little behind,” Zuckerberg confessed. “The reason for this is that we started late and had a really small team working on it.

“Last year, we had an idea to work with [a third party developer] to help us and right before we launched, Google bought the company. We thought, okay that sucks, so what are we going to do?”

Facebook enticed former Android Product Manager Eric Tseng to leave Google and lead up its mobile efforts. The Android app has since improved, but we’re still waiting to see if it’s finally achieved “feature-for-feature parity with the iPhone” as Zuckerberg claimed today.

UPDATE: App now available in the Market