Facebook 6.0 released for iPad and iPhone - Chat Heads comes to iOS after all!
This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2013.
The Facebook app for iOS has been updated to version 6.0 for both the iPad and the iPhone. There are a number of new and interesting features introduced in this new update, and they include the much in vogue ‘Chat Heads’, an improved and cleaner News Feed layout, and new kinds of emojis / emoticons called stickers.
Facebook Home has been in the news (and not entirely for the right reasons) since its launch in the Google Play Store for selected Android smartphones. Despite the brickbats that it ended up receiving, there was a distinctive feature that it brought to the table that made a lot of people take notice. This feature is something called Chat Heads, something that Facebook went on to implement in Facebook Messenger for Android. However, there was always a massive amount of doubt about how Chat Heads could be implemented in iOS, given that Apple has made a conscious decision on its mobile operating system to keep every individual app sandboxed (for reasons that include concerns for both security and memory management). Android has no such issue, and maintaining a persistent Chat Head messenger bubble always on top of any other app was not much of an issue at all. On the other hand, because of the restrictions in iOS, Chat Heads are restricted to being available only while you use the Facebook app to go through your News Feed, and are hidden when you suspend the app.
Speaking of the News Feed, Facebook’s iPad app has always been an unappealing mess in terms of how cluttered its status updates tend to be. The app had never managed to really make use of the extra space available on tablet screens. Until now, that is. With distinct buttons for liking, commenting and sharing, things are a lot easier than before, while status updates are now slightly indented now, and the left margin is used to show the display photo of the person / page sharing a particular update (quite like the way it works on the full sized page for PCs).
The new Facebook for iOS app update is expected to be up in the App Store in a matter of hours. Make sure to get the update for all the features listed above!