Often criticized as clunky and slow, Facebook’s iOS app used to be written in HTML5. However, the company has rolled out a new native app written in Objective-C, and it’s getting kudos from users and the press. “One of the biggest advantages we’ve gained,” said Facebook’s Jonathan Dann, “has been the ability to make the app fast.” In fact, the new native app is about twice as fast as the HTML5 version.
Is Facebook’s experience a signal for the future of mobile development? Observers say the jury is still out, with some predicting that HTML5 will eventually win out, while others say that native apps will prevail.