Facebook's new UWP app a downgrade?

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I've been pretty appalled by the speed (or rather lack of it) of the new Facebook UWP application, created by Facebook itself rather than Microsoft (as was the case with the old 8.1 client) - well over 10 seconds just to launch. And then another ten seconds to launch Messenger - it's really not good enough. The culprit seems to be the method used to create the UWP app - Facebook has used a 'meta' operating system, i.e. middleware, and booting this up to run the application is the problem. Here are some quoted comments from MSPU this week.

From MSPU:

Last week, Facebook released a new app for Windows 10 Mobile to complement the Facebook app it had earlier released for Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 for x86 systems. These apps are based on the pre-existing iOS Facebook apps for the iPhone and iPad and ported to Windows 10 using the OSMeta framework. When MSPU reached out to Facebook to clarify this point, the firm declined to comment on specific techniques used in creating its apps, however unpacking the appx file reveals several OSMeta related DLLs and app assets originating from iOS.


While I don’t have any bias against the apps origin – heck I wrote an article espousing that very behaviour. Users should not judge an app by its origin – whether it is a UWP, a Silverlight app or a ported app – rather it should be judged by what it brings to the table and the experience it provides – so far Facebook’s Windows 10 apps haven’t impressed me....

...On mobile devices, the issues with the apps were brought more starkly to my attention – perhaps owing to the weaker chips used by mobile devices. Unlike the apps they succeeded, Facebook’s apps for Windows 10 Mobile have been very slow and unreliable.

Take a common usage scenario of uploading pictures to Facebook or quickly snapping and uploading an image to Messenger, Where it would be a fast and smooth two-step process on Windows Phone 8 with Microsoft apps or the older Facebook Messenger- the current Windows 10 Mobile apps hit you with lag at every corner until one is forced to abandon the process and use a more suitable device for Facebook.

The lag is also present in every facet of the two apps, with slow startup times and visible stutter when navigating the user interface, scrolling up and down, leaving conversations etc.

Especially egregious is Messengers habit of allowing notifications to stack up on your phone, but only actually loading the messages when you open up the app. While this “feature” is present on iOS and Android to some degree, the process is much slower and noticeable on Windows, with a day of new messages taking 30 seconds or so to populate in the app.

There's more, you can read the whole feature here.

I completely agree with the criticism - Facebook's new UWP application is quite appallingly slow and borderline unusable, even on the fastest Lumia 950 and 950 XL. How did we get to this stage? Isn't someone at Microsoft actually using the client on a real world device? Surely someone should have said, at some point, "look, this Osmeta thing isn't working out, why don't we use native code on Windows 10 to create a client that we can br proud of?"

Instead, we're lumbered with a stupidly slow and cumbersome application that has rings run around it by Facebook on every other platform - including Windows Phone 8.1!

Facebook should be ashamed.

Source / Credit: MSPU