Facebook iOS app gets a facelift, gives iPhone users a new navigation bar

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Michael Gorman
September 18, 2013 7:00 PM
Facebook iOS app gets a facelift, gives iPhone users a new navigation bar

It's iOS 7 release day, folks, and while we've told you about plenty of apps that have been updated to fit Apple's new aesthetic, we've got another for you. This time, it's Facebook, and instead of just giving its iOS app a fresh coat of paint, the team in Menlo Park has also delivered a new way to navigate its iPhone app. The upgrade brings an ever-present tabbed bar at the bottom of the screen that lets users seamlessly switch between News Feed, Requests, Messages, Notifications and More -- meaning as you slide your finger along that bar, the screens quickly switch from one to the other.

And, each of those tabs saves your state, so if you've scrolled down a ways in your feed, then do some messaging and come back, you won't have to roll through all the content you've already viewed. This function also transforms the More screen into a personally customizeable tab, as the app remembers whatever option you last chose. While this new option is a departure from the left-side nav users have grown accustomed to, the changes are very much made with you in mind. Developers went through 100 variants of the app tested by between 5-10 million users -- who wanted less friction in the UI -- and that feedback informed the redesign. Keep in mind, however, that iPad owners won't be getting this new nav (Facebook found that the existing UI was better suited to the larger screen).

As for the iOS 7 paint job? Highlights include wireframe icons and a translucent nav bar at the top of the screen that allows underlying content to bleed through, along with a general flattening of the app's appearance. However, users will only see this new look if they have upgraded to iOS 7. Folks sticking with iOS 5 and 6 will still get the new tabbed nav functionality, but the aesthetics will remain in line with the rest of their device's appearance. Wanna give the new Facebook a try? You know what to do.

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