Facebook Updates Its Android Apps With Improved Chat Functions

Facebook has just announced two updates to its Android apps -- Facebook Messenger and Facebook for Android. The updates include improvements to chat functionality, such as being able to hide and unhide buddy lists with gestures, a new look for conversations and design changes.

Messenger will now hide a buddy list "hidden to the right" of the app, which can be revealed by swiping left. It works like the Facebook app's menu drawer that's "on the left" of the app, but on the right side. To see which of your Facebook friends are available in your buddy list, just swipe left. It will show everybody in a list. The Messenger app has also been tuned for speed and even allows you to send and receive SMS messages from within the app.

Facebook for Android is getting many of the same updates to improve its messaging capability too:

  • New button in upper right of News Feed quickly shows who's available to message
  • New design for conversations in Messages
  • When sending messages, see who's active so you and your friends know how soon to expect a reply
  • Improvements to make the app more secure and reliable, including bug fixes for errors during multi-photo selections, device restarts, and push notifications

Many of the improvements overlap with each other, which kind of makes the Facebook Messenger app a little redundant. But, hey, more Facebook chatting for Facebook fiends. [Facebook]