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April 24th 2014 2:47 pm

Facebook for Android switches to a more flat design, but does it help?

Last week Facebook released a new version of their app for Android, codenamed "Katana." The newest version of Katana streamlines some things, taking the icons to access your wall, invites, messaging, notifications, as well as the drop down menu with more options (events, apps, groups, settings), and placing all of these onto one top toolbar. The "Status, Photo, Check In" trio has been moved to the bottom. The old side menu that had everything else? It's gone now.

Oh, and it seems a lot... bluer. Like darker, more... royal somehow. Comparing the new Facebook with screenshots of the old one, it seems like we're now leaning toward the darker (and a bit indigo) side of the spectrum (new FB is on the bottom).

I haven't really noticed many other changes to how it works; posting a status is largely identical, and so is messaging, but having the full screen for stuff like notifications helps a lot.

Have you updated your Facebook app for Android yet? What do you think of the new design? And what other changes have you noticed?



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11 replies

The "flat design" is Facebook's attempt at meeting the Android Design Guidelines. The new app uses the actionbar, the Holo UI swipable tabs, icons etc. Although the posts layout, app icon etc. still needs tweaking, it's a great forward step for Facebook on Android.

As a hobbyist developer myself, I see it with great importance that apps follow the design guidelines suggested for each OS they run on. It creates great consistency within mobile systems; just look at Apple vs. early Android (before ICS) - whilst the latter was a complete mess of different colours and fonts and crazy icons, iOS looked beautiful because each app used a similar layout, a similar aesthetic etc.

People who're saying this looks similar to other apps are right - it's beginning to look like an Android app should.

More on the Android design guidelines: https:­/­/developer.android.com­/design­/index.html

As a side note, this design has been available for almost a year in beta (no idea what they've been doing with it though).
3 like dislike

Anyone notice how many permissions this app requires? I haven't upgraded the app, I've deleted the app...
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I like the flatter more angular fb. Even if it is just a current trend in design, it works and looks nice with the other current designs of the same.
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It doesn't helps at all! The app is now "crap". Users can't even select which posts to see, Top Stories or Most Recent.

This is one of the biggest problem in the app.
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Looks similar to the Windows Phone version of the FB app...
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seriously it's look like a windows phone version of facebook app
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I don't like it. In fact, I hate it.
  • Going to my Timeline and Favorites just got harder. I now need to reach near the top right corner or worse, swipe 4 times to the right from my News Feed. Compared to before, it was just a swipe away from left to right.
  • Notifications now shows at the notifications tab when selected which I felt is unituitive. I got lost after I opened my notifications on my first run on the new look.
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I hate that I can't sort the news feed by most recent anymore. I don't mind the new look, but that feature, I can't find anywhere >:(
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I uninstalled the app. It sucks up memory & space. I m better off without it.

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Another thing - it's always been codenamed Katana.
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Thanks, it's not something I usually notice! (I'll edit the post a bit)
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