Facebook's Android team is hiring, and other tidbits

Are you a Google Android user and a Facebook user? Here's what Facebook's new engineering manager for Android app development has been saying on Twitter in his first few days on the job.
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor

In September 2011, Mike Shaver, vice president of technical strategy at Mozilla, announced he was leaving the company and moving to Facebook. Now we know he's the company's engineering manager for Android app development, which he announced via his Twitter account (via CNET):

This week I started as the eng mgr for Facebook's Android team. Doing cool stuff -- some probably obvious, some rather not. And hiring!

This wasn't the only tweet Shaver send out this past weekend. He responded to a popular meme:

Vlad Vukicevic: @shaver fix ALL the things! Mike Shaver: @vvuk that is the first part of the plan, yes.

He took an off-hand suggestion:

Jacob Appelbaum: @shaver Can you please add Orbot support to their app so that people may use Tor with that application on Android? guardianproject.info/apps/orbot/ Mike Shaver: @ioerror what is"orbot support"? I thought it was transparent. Jacob Appelbaum: @shaver Explicitly allow someone use the proxy - so they don't need a rooted device to redirect traffic: github.com/guardianprojec… cc @n8fr8

He pointed where to apply for a job at Facebook:

Nanik: @shaver where to send the resume to ? Mike Shaver: @nanikjava if you know me personally, to me. else, facebook.com/careers/department.php?dept=engineering Nanik: @shaver thanks

He acknowledged Android's browser still doesn't support SPDY, a Web-acceleration technology developed at Google that is now being built into Firefox:

Mike Belshe: @shaver Congrats, Mike! we should talk about #spdy sometime :-) Mike Shaver: I figured we'd get it for free from Android's WebView and HTTP libraries :-P Mike Belshe: @shaver Hopefully that will be available eventually...

He strengthened relationships with a previous colleague, a Firefox evangelist:

Asa Dotzler: @shaver Will you all re-write the Android Facebook app as a Web app? Mike Shaver: @asadotzler you know that it's a mostly a wrapper around the m site, right? need APIs browsers don't expose yet though Asa Dotzler: @shaver ahh. I did not know that. cool. let's see if we can't get you the APIs you need soon then.

He also noted the Facebook app needs more interfaces that browsers don't yet offer:

Fabrice Desré: @shaver @asadotzler which APIs? (notifications I guess, but probably more) Mike Shaver: @asadotzler @fabricedesre notifications, camera+gallery, contacts, some settings stuff I think -- I'll make a list soon

Last but certainly not least, he talked about making the app faster:

Mark Finkle: @shaver FB on Android needs to use local cache/storage more. I spend too much time looking at a spinner. Mike Shaver: @mfinkle I think we should cache harder, yeah, but wouldn't you get a spinner when it was loading new content, even if old stuff was cached? Mark Finkle: @shaver yes, but perception should be improved, and you can use the time to pull down fresh content in parallel. Mike Shaver: do you find it to be worse than the iOS app or the m site? Mark Finkle : @shaver m site seems better, but maybe that is web vs app perception? problem is waiting for the topbar UI to appear, not the content itself Mike Shaver: @mfinkle we wrap the web site, but I agree about the chrome. May be that FF caches/loads better than Android web view too Mark Finkle: @shaver also the"loading"for notifs and comments takes longer than I like. can you prefetch some data when I start looking at an entry? Mike Shaver: @mfinkle prefetch is definitely something I'm looking at, yeah. Probably need to model out the cost.

It seems to me like Shaver is off to a good start. Hopefully he'll be able to further improve Facebook's Android app, which by the way is currently at version 1.8.1.

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