Facebook revamps Messenger for Android with friendlier chats, teases core app update soon (update 2: iOS refresh as well)

Facebook has already been making its mea culpas for the state of its main Android app, and it's showing further atonement through an Android-first update to its Facebook Messenger companion release. The new app is imbued with a "more conversational" (if fairly familiar-looking) bubble-driven layout for chats. Likewise, it's easier to see if a conversation is needed in the first place: a friend status list is always available with a swipe, while fresh support for texting directly from Messenger can keep the discussion flowing when SMS comes into play. Android users can get the Messenger upgrade today, with promise of an iOS equivalent soon. The regular Android app is getting an update as well, although we wouldn't cry with joy just yet: it's more of a parallel to the Messenger update than the speed-up that some of us crave.

Update: The company's Christian Legnitto has posted a lengthy explanation that the Messenger rework and the core Facebook update (already available) are part of a new strategy that brings Android and iOS updates at regular intervals, rather than waiting solely for major features. If all goes well, the social network can provide speed upgrades and bug fixes at a much quicker pace.

Update 2: And the hits just keep on coming -- although today is mostly about Android, Facebook has tweaked its main app's iOS version (App Store) for iPhone 5 and iOS 6 support.