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Facebook for Android update improves images, security (in theory)

Facebook updated its official app for Android devices last night, bringing significant image-posting improvements, bug fixes, and a promise of "improved security using SSL."

Changes for the app's handling of images include users now being able to upload photos to their friends' walls and also to groups. Photos are now supposed to always maintain their correct orientation when uploaded, but that won't help the people who are notorious for knocked-over portraits (we all know one).

As for the bolstered usage of SSL, it wouldn't normally be a big deal. You may, nowever, remember recent rumblings about the app sending huge amounts of data in the clear. That news caused plenty of users to be more than slightly perturbed -- and rightly so, given the importance of a secure connection in the world of social networking. It's good to see the devs at Facebook working to correct this problem, but nothing's really final until the updated app has been run over a packet-sniffed network.

Now the bad news. Within an hour of the update's release, over 10 pages of shriekingly bad reviews were posted, reporting that images (which were supposed to be a plus) weren't showing up at all, and that the app was crashing almost immediately upon opening it. Several reviewers noted that they were using older versions of Android, so it could simply be an issue of OS fragmentation since it works for me on Gingerbread (2.3.3).

So, as usual, buyer beware, and if you're not scared off by the reviews then you can grab the update at the Android Market.

Tags: android, apps, cellphones, facebook, mobile, photography, security, social networking, SocialNetworking, ssl