Maybe it was a way to compensate for the problematic HTML5-based iOS app of the past, but Facebook did some serious work with version 5.1 of the app released this week. Based on what has been read, the revamped app looks to be showing plenty of promise, and even offers an edge over some already widely-used social media tools.
A lot of the updates to the app have to do with the direct interaction that the user engages with it. For instance, if you wish to see who is available to chat, all that has to be done is a simple left swipe. This beats out having to access a menu first to get to the same point. Alongside this, if you have a select group of friends that you find yourself messaging more than others, then they can be moved to the top of your “favorites” list.
Along with the messaging is improved interaction with the Facebook Camera, which as a big addition to the iOS app in general earlier in the year. The camera, which was added in May, allows users to directly take photos using Facebook and post without any buffer or having to uploading from the drive of one's mobile device. According to PC Mag, the 5.1 version of the Facebook Camera will allow users to upload photos more quickly, and there will be no need to just wait on one.
A lot of people seem to be talking a lot about how 5.1 also includes Facebook Gifts, which was a brand new feature added to all of Facebook back in August. Facebook Gift opened up the ability for people to send actual gifts to fellow friends from participating retailers. For example, one of the more popular gifts so far have been a Starbucks gift card. It wasn't until 5.1 that people would actually be able to send these same gifts from a mobile device.
There has however been some not-so-pleasant feedback on the Apple App Store site where people are able to review the app. According to a few reviews, it is clear that several are not happy with 5.1 removing the landscape mode of the app, which apparently has made it slower for material to get posted. Others are saying that there is a severe lack of organization when it comes to the order of the news feed – some stories are out of place.