Facebook Going Native on Android

Facebook recently decided to go native for iOS devices after the company said it found that HTML 5, while good for some types of mobile apps, just doesn't work well for apps with the scale of Facebook.

That approach is going to be taken for the other major mobile platform, Android. Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg told Michael Arrington at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference (as reported by The Verge) that his company is dropping all HTML5 from its in-process Android app.

He also called HTML 5 development a disaster. "The biggest mistake we made as a company was betting too much on HTML 5 instead of native," The Verge reported. He said that the company essentially wasted two years trying to get the HTML 5 version Facebook to work on mobile devices.

That statement is somewhat at odds with the explanation given by Facebook's Jonathan Dann, who wrote in the earlier post that using HTML 5 was a solid choice early on, for reasons of compatibility. From his post:

"As mobile usage exploded over the last few years, our priority was to ensure that regardless of device, platform, network, or region, Facebook users had a good experience on their mobile devices. To support thousands of devices and multiple mobile platforms, we leveraged HTML5 to build and distribute Facebook mobile experiences across iOS and other platforms."

As Facebook slowed to a crawl on iOS devices like the iPad and iPhone, that decision was regretted, Zuckerberg claimed. He did not, however, say when Facebook for Android would be ready.

In a related bit of iOS news, Facebook announced on its blog that it's readying an update to its Facebook SDK for iOS that will include the changes in iOS 6, released earlier last week. Like the Android app, though, Facebook didn't give a target date for the release of the updated SDK.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.