By Alexandra Burlacu email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Jan 20, 2013 12:20 PM EST
Facebook has just updated its native Android app, adding voice messages, speeding up photo loading time, and allowing for easier sharing.
The company claims that photos now load faster with the latest version of Facebook for Android, and users can now share stories to other Timelines, Pages, and Groups, rather than just sharing them on their own Timelines. In other words, it's a more expanded Share button. Moreover, users can also send voice messages to friends.
This update follows the announcement that iOS users will be able to enjoy free calling over Wi-Fi or mobile Internet. The Facebook for Android update may not bring full VOIP, but voice messages are still a welcome addition, and likely the most exciting part of this upgrade.
Of course, being able to send voice messages is not something completely new. The feature is already available on Facebook Messenger for iOS and Android, but this update refers to the main Facebook app. Facebook always uses its other apps first to test new features before rolling them into the main Facebook app. Overall, this update brings nothing extraordinary, it's just catching up.
Meanwhile, messaging in general has enjoyed a little sprucing, and users can now insert emoticons and images into their messages. Users can choose images from a gallery or snap shots right there in the spot. Moreover, Facebook's new search functions now streamline messaging even more.
Users can also do an image search powered by Bing and clicking on the desired thumbnail will insert the image in one's message. Considering that Facebook recently announced a partnership with Bing for its new Graph Search feature, seeing Bing power Facebook's new image search is not much of a surprise.
The new update rolled out on Friday, Jan. 18, just over a month after the Facebook for Android app saw its last upgrade. This timeframe falls in line with Facebook's recent promise to update its mobile apps - including Facebook for iOS, Facebook for Android, Facebook Messenger, and Facebook Camera - every four to eight weeks.
The full changelog itself is not very extensive:
It may not be a major overhaul, but tweaks and new additions are always a nice touch, especially since an increasing number of Facebook users are accessing the social network via mobile.