Facebook has just announced its Facebook for Android 2.0 app which is landing in Google Play later today. The new app is now using native code, just like it does on the iOS version which brought a huge speed boost, especially on the new iPhone 5 hardware. This is the same kind of performance increase that we expect for Android devices this afternoon when the update cycle starts.

Although the app should look the same on the surface, there was a lot of coding work and performance analysis that led to this new version 2.0 (more info on that). This is the biggest change in Facebook for Android since it was first released, and the good news is that Facebook should be able to rely on this foundation for a while, so expect the next release to be more about functionality than performance.

This is great news for Android users who may have grown frustrated by the slow performance of the Facebook app for Android. This was the #1 issue with this app from what I can tell. We’ll see if the release lives up to the expectations, but I’m pretty optimistic, and we’ll know for sure in a few hours. My Galaxy Note 2 cannot wait one more second to get this one.

Update:  I’ve updated it, and yes it does feel much faster, and more responsive. This is particularly noticeable when going from one screen to another. The information is cached and switching is very fast (as it should be). I bet that if we were to measure the number of HTTP requests, Facebook 2.0 is probably less active, so this should even be better for your battery life. The Notifications are now downloaded in the background, so there is no wait time and refresh to deal with. Nice! Conclusion: update as soon as you can.

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