Home The Future of the Facebook iPhone App, According to the Man Who Made It

The Future of the Facebook iPhone App, According to the Man Who Made It

Apple approved the first update to the Facebook app on the iPhone in almost a year yesterday and it was a huge hit. The app was built by Joe Hewitt, whose previous work includes the co-creation of Firefox with Blake Ross. With 12 million downloads, Facebook’s app was the 2nd most popular free app on the iPhone platform in 2008 behind Pandora.

I spoke with Hewitt yesterday on the BadHairDay podcast and the following are three three features he identified as next steps on the app’s roadmap.

Contact list synchronization between your Facebook friends list and your phone’s contact list. “It’s a Terms of Service thing more than a technical limitation,” Hewitt said.

Push notifications. “We are working on push,” Hewitt said last night. “I plan to have it in the next major update, the 3.1. It will be the same kind of notifications you get on the website. I probably won’t right off the bat give you chat notifications. If you’ve ever used Facebook’s SMS notifications, you can have pretty granular control and it will be the same level of notification in terms of whose notifications you see and what categories you see.”

Saved, site-wide search. On the Facebook website you can now search across public updates and other items beyond just friends and pages. You can’t do that on the mobile app yet. “I hope but I can’t promise to get that into the 3.1 update,” Hewitt said. “We’re still working on getting that into the API. I’m also hoping to let you save a search to your home screen.”

Saved search icons on the beautiful new home screen? Granular control over push notification delivery so you can get immediate news of just your most important updates? Automatic contact synching so your friends’ Facebook avatars appear when they call you on the phone?

Those sound like great features. We’re excited to see them implemented with the same attention to user experience that this latest update showed.

What would you like to see on the roadmap of the Facebook app on the iPhone?

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