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Facebook employees forced to ditch iPhones to improve Android app

August 24, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • A Facebook worker waits for friends to arrive outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.
A Facebook worker waits for friends to arrive outside of Facebook headquarters… (Paul Sakuma/Associated…)

Facebook is on a mission to improve its Android app, going so far as to order employees to leave their iPhones at home and use the rival platform to get more familiar with it.

Business Insider reports Facebook is taking this approach, citing as sources ex-Facebook employees and people familiar with the goings-on inside the Menlo Park company.

Facebook confirmed the report to the Los Angeles Times on Friday, saying in an email that an important part of the company's products and features testing process involves Facebook employees putting unreleased products and features through "their paces before they launch."

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"In order to test our mobile products employees need access to specific devices to test on different platforms (iOS, Android)," a spokesman for Facebook said. "This is obviously different from testing on the Web (where it doesn't matter what kind computer you have)."

The note went on to say that the company will occasionally "remind employees that they can change from iPhone to Android or Android to iPhone."

News of this Facebook strategy came Thursday after the company updated its iPhone and iPad app, which was known for being slow and crashing often.

The Android app also received an update, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged the update wasn't as big as the one iOS received.

"But still a step forward," Zuckerberg said on Facebook.

No word on when an improved Android app might appear.

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