Facebook has released the version 16.0 update of its iOS mobile app for iPhone and iPad users, and it comes with a surprise: the font size on some pages of the app, including notifications and comments, has been shrunk significantly. It’s not immediately clear whether this is intended as a new whether the change is an intentional attempt at adapting the app to iPhones with larger screens, or an unintended bug. As it only affects certain pages within the app and not the main newsfeed, we’re assuming it’s the latter. We’ve confirmed the font size change with multiple users who have installed the app update, and have yet to identify any who have upgraded and not seen the font size change.
The timing of the Facebook mobile app update for iOS is curious as Apple is set to unveil new iPad hardware tomorrow and possibly iOS 8.1 along with it. The 16.0 update could be an attempt at making the Facebook app fully compatible with 8.1 in advance, or the timing could be coincidental. Facebook has given up any pretense or telling users what fixes or changes each new app update contains, instead merely including a generic “We’re releasing updates every four weeks” message in the App Store in place of an actual description.
Facebook has come under increasing criticism for its mobile app strategy since removing the messaging feature from its main app for iOS and Android, forcing users to install the separate Messenger app in order to send and receive messages on the go. The company claimed this would improve the overall mobile experience, but since that time the main Facebook app has become less stable while the Messenger app still suffers from a poor interface and missing features. Today’s 16.0 app update doesn’t appear to have helped in that regard, and we’ll be expecting a 16.1 update to fix the font issue within the week.