Replace the Slow Facebook for iOS App with Friendly

The Facebook app is the devil. And we’re not even going acknowledge Facebook itself. Let’s just focus on the app. A friend of mine who owns the latest iPhone 6 asked me if there’s a Facebook Lite app for iPhone (Facebook released it only for Android).

Image via Friendly’s Google+ page.

The Facebook app is infamous for draining your battery, always running in the background, and causing general havoc. And it has no signs of showing improvement. Even shipping off Messenger to a different app didn’t help.

My iPhone 5 runs pretty smoothly. Scrolling Twitter, Instagram, and RSS on it is smoother than on my OnePlus One. But Facebook is the only app that stutters now and then. And I could certainly do with increased battery life.

If you face the same problems – let me tell you about a third party app called Friendly for Facebook and why you should be using it instead of the official Facebook app.

1. It’s Fast and Web-based

Much like Facebook Lite for Android, Friendly puts a wrapper around Facebook’s web interface. But it does it in a way that it’s not immediately obvious you’re using Facebook’s mobile website. Plus, it supports notifications so there’s a good mix of native app and web.

Img 2913 Result
Img 2914 Result

It’s amazing how fast Friendly is. Even on a not-so-fast 3G connection. Scrolling is butter smooth. If you’re an old fashioned Facebook user, you can even sort your timeline as Most Recent instead of Top Stories.

Img 2901 Result
Img 2918 Result

Alternative to Friendly for Facebook: If you live in the US and want to ditch the Official Facebook app, take a look at Facebook’s own Paper app. It’s not available worldwide and it’s more of an experiment but much like Friendly, it doesn’t come with the majority of Facebook app’s issues.

2. Messenger Comes Built-In

Again, this is the web interface, but you can message your friends and have a conversation from within Friendly. If this works well for you, you can very well delete the Messenger app along with the Facebook app.

Img 2907 Result
Img 2917 Result

I’m personally not going to do that. I like Facebook Messenger, especially now that it has third party apps. In my testing, I found that notifications for messages in Friendly were not prompt. But I was surprised that the app could even deliver them – with the app being web based and all.

3. Multiple Accounts and Security

The app supports multiple accounts. So if you’re the kind of person who has more than one Facebook account, Friendly will take care of you.

Img 2916 Result
Img 2900 Result

Friendly also lets you password protect the app. If you’re in college, this feature alone might convince you to switch to Friendly. I mean, whatever you can do to save yourself from the “I love to poop” troll status updates left by your friends, right?

4. You Can Change Colors

Img 2898 Result

Just because Mark Zuckerberg is colorblind, does that mean you too need to suffer with one, Plain Jane color? No. Friendly lets you customize the app’s UI with different colors.

5. No Facebook Ads but Native Ads

The app disables Facebook ads by default. This means you won’t be seeing annoying Facebook ads anymore. You are also free from Facebook’s ad tracking.

Img 2903 Result
Img 2908 Result

But the app itself will show iAds banner ads now and then. If it’s any consolation, iAds is probably less evil when it comes to tracking your personal data via ads than Facebook and Google.

The good thing is that the app gives you a way out. You can pay $2.99 to enable ad blocker. This will block all ads in Friendly and all ads and trackers on the websites you visit using the app’s built-in browser. That might just be worth the 3 bucks.

Successes and Grievances

The Facebook apps take 2-3 seconds to load my news feed after I launch the app. And it’s a native app. With Friendly, I don’t have to wait nearly as long. For me, this is a big win for Friendly.

Also, Friendly doesn’t seem to be violating Facebook’s terms of use. And the app has been around since 2013. So it’s not like it’s going to be pulled in a week or two because of some silly reason (as many Facebook clients are).

But let’s look at Friendly’s losses. It doesn’t support Groups. The Messaging section is a hit and miss and… that’s pretty much it.

Friendly is a solid alternative that doesn’t have the Facebook app’s problems. Plus, it adds awesome features like multiple logins, ad blocker, password protection, and more. Did you give Friendly for Facebook a try? What did you think of it? Share your views in the comments below.

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.