In the midst of all the excitement surrounding Jelly Bean on the HTC EVO 4G LTE, it was pretty easy to miss two pretty big Android app updates. And trust us – these really are pretty big.


The native Facebook app that we’ve all been waiting for is finally here! Rather than relying on the painstakingly slow HTML5 code that Facebook for Android had been, it now uses its own native code to get your Facebook updates to you faster than ever before. Facebook specifically promises that your Timeline will load faster, but I’ve also noticed that photos and comments seems to load much quicker than ever before.

One new feature that I particularly like is that comments and likes now appear in a separate pop up window, which you can easily close again by pressing the back button. This keeps your previous place in the Timeline, which has been hit or miss in the past, and just makes for a better overall experience for the end user.

Download: Google Play


The latest version of Google+ now allows you to upload full resolution photos via Instant Upload. You get 5GB of free storage for this, or you can still opt to automatically upload photos at 2048px; these will continue to not count against any storage quotas you might have, thereby granting you unlimited photo storage. Still, it’s nice to see Google give us this new option (it will go nicely with my 100GB of Google Drive storage).

Other new features include support for Google+ Communities, the ability to subscribe to any circle for notifications, support for time zones in Events, basic profile editing, integration with Google Now to send birthday wishes to friends, support for animated GIFs, animated emoticons in posts, the ability to view and explore Photo Sphere images, and the option to add the Google+ widget to your AOSP Jelly Bean device’s lock screen.

In other words, there’s a ton of new stuff here. It’s worth the update.

Download: Google Play