Facebook released v3.4.3 of its Facebook for iPhone native mobile app yesterday. Though the release notes only list “Various bug fixes” and “Improved security”, we’ve discovered the update permits users to view the navigation menu in landscape mode. As many of the app’s features could already run in landscape mode, this allows for a more unified experience.
Despite few tangible improvements in versions 3.4.2 or 3.4.3, Facebook for iPhone is still the most advanced of Facebook’s native mobile apps, boasting some features lacking in the latest version of Facebook for Android. Event checkins, a Places map, and Find Friends were all added in the 3.4 and 3.4.1 updates. The app also recently began pulling the news feed from m.facebook.com, streamlining development for Facebook’s mobile team.
This month also saw the leak of screenshots and documentation of a new Facebook mobile photos app for iOS, which could be integrated into Facebook for iPhone or released as a standalone app. That app might allow for multi-shot sharing, filters, video support, and an activity feed.
The Facebook for iPhone continued steady growth through June, gaining 2.79 million daily active users to reach 45.2 million DAU, and gaining 4.3 million monthly active users reach a massive 80.7 million MAU. These stats, from our application growth tracking service AppData, make Facebook for iPhone the largest Facebook app by DAU, and the second largest by MAU to Zynga’s CityVille.
With Facebook for iPhone 3.4.1, users can now turn their phone horizontally to switch the navigation menu to landscape mode. This might make it easier for those using the app while laying on their side, or who use the app’s features in landscape mode and don’t want to switch to portrait mode when navigating between features. And, by bringing landscape navigation to the iPhone app, Facebook also sets itself up to offer a more unified interface experience with its forthcoming iPad app (many people prefer using their tablets in landscape mode).
For the time being, though, one downside we’ve found is that users can’t access the Account menu or add bookmarks in landscape mode.
Overall, Facebook has said that it is focused on both native apps and its mobile web site, and it is working on an HTML5 version that could offer many of the multimedia features available for native apps.
The booming popularity of all of its mobile services, though, means it has its hands full adding new features for its demanding users. Users on the comments thread of the announcement are requesting the ability to tag friends in status updates as users can on Facebook for Android, and the option to Like comments.
Expect Facebook to continue upping its mobile focus as it faces a broad range of mobile competitors.