You smarties with smartphones can get free and fabulous upgraded versions of the most humongously popular, frequently-used apps in your app library. Facebook has unveiled a much faster and more flexible version of its iOS app, while Pandora today released a way more souped-up and intuitive version of their streaming radio app for Android. Both upgrades are totally free.
Facebook claims their new iPhone and iPad app is 50% faster than the previous version. Meanwhile, the new Android Pandora app is so addictive, it's the worst thing for my HTC's battery since that time I forgot to turn off WiFi for a month.
The new, faster Facebook iOS app promises more speed -- addressing a common gripe among iPhone-using Facebookers. CNET raves that the new Facebook iOS app delivers "a noticeably faster overall experience, an intuitive interface, touch-screen controls that take advantage of the larger screen real estate on the iPad, and all the functionality you get on the Web site," and declares, "If you have an iOS device and use Facebook, this update is a must-download."
The new Facebook for iOS also optimizes iPhone and iPad screens for Timeline, that thing you hate even though it can be quite beautiful.
There was also a new Facebook for Android update rolled out today, allowing you to tag photos from your phone, plus do some other things of interest mostly to compulsive chatters and instant messengers.
The real action in the Android department today comes in the form of the Pandora update for Android, delivering a sleek interface that's even better and easier than that of a regular computer. Unlike the computer interface, the Android app gives you an easily navigable list of your stations on logging in -- with no giant oversize player that just picks up where you last logged out. You can bookmark tracks for repeat listening, and pull up lyrics and artist bios with a simple swipe.
This Android Pandora allows multitasking -- you can use other apps or phone features while your Pandora music keeps on playing. This Pandora even has a built-in Quit button, so it won't burn your system resources in background mode when you're not cranking tunes.
Honestly speaking, the new Pandora app for Android is fantastic, while the Facebook Android app remains a little awkward. Maybe expect some sleek new updates of Facebook for Android soon, though. Facebook is reportedly forcing their employees use Android phones to motivate them to develop a better Android app.