Facebook has been updating its iOS and Android versions on a regular basis with new features and needed fixes. In fact, Facebook updated its Android app last week, claiming it would work much faster for users.
After a recent trip to Africa to test how the Android app works out in challenging conditions, a team from Facebook came to a conclusion that it needed to make some changes. In a recent blog post, Facebook engineer Alex Sourov explained how the company used that experience to make a number of improvements to the app.
Apparently, mobile access on Android devices in the country was extremely slow. Adding to that, the lack of memory on the devices also resulted in constant crashes. In fact, the team members also used up their monthly data plans in 40 minutes.
"Our trip to Africa really highlighted the importance of our work on mobile performance, data efficiency, networking reliability, and application size for emerging markets. We've made a concerted effort to improve in all these areas and achieved a significant amount of success in the past year," the blog post states.
The post adds that the company actually learnt a lot from that experience and "have already impacted the development of new features." Now, Facebook tests all major features and changes in poor networking scenarios.
Moreover, there's the automated verification for various performance and efficiency characteristics, which allows the features team to receive immediate feedback on the impact of their code. Apart from that, the company also expanded its playbook to other apps, such as Messenger and Instagram.
However, Sourov did confirm that the company will continue to innovate to make the Facebook experience better in emerging markets, "and share tools and information that can help developers build apps that work well on different handsets, network environments, and operating systems."