Facebook app update for iPhone/iPad

For anyone having trouble getting the new Facebook app update to run on an iPad or iPhone, I’ll provide the steps I took to get mine up and running on both devices before I explain what happened. Here’s the deal:
1. Go to your Facebook Account settings in Safari or log in from a desktop browser.
2. Account > Security > Login Approvals (where it says ‘approval is required when logging in from an unrecognized device)
3. Uncheck this setting and save.
You should now be able to login using the new app on either device. If you don’t care about this security setting, leave it alone and you shouldn’t have any more problems until the next time the Facebook developers make a bunch of changes and don’t warn us about the bugs.
If you are the least bit paranoid about your identity and you want the Login Approvals active so that any unrecognized device requires a code, which is a good idea, then do this:
4. Go back into Safari > Facebook > Account > Security > Login Approvals
5. Check the box at the top to activate and save.
6. A little window should pop up for entering a Confirmation Code….
You should get a Confirmation Code via text message for the login approvals, enter it in the window and you’re good to go.
Worked for me on all my devices.

Now, here’s what happened.

I’d been waiting forever for the Facebook developers to give us a FB app for the iPad, and when I saw that it had finally been released today I downloaded it immediately. I couldn’t wait to play with it, see how it works, and if anything had been redesigned for the iPad or if it was just an extended, elastic version of the iPhone app. When I finally got it all working, I found that the whole UI had been redesigned and is now much nicer to work with than the previous app. Getting it to work wasn’t so pleasant, however. Those developers don’t seem too interested in warning us of all the crap we may have to go through to get everything working. The probably think that few people would actually install the update if they released this information. They’re probably right.

I tired to launch it as soon as the download finished. It wouldn’t run at all. In fact, it wouldn’t even run through the launch process before crashing. After numerous attempts I gave up and went down the list of my usual troubleshooting steps. Doing a hard restart, clearing out cache, etc., didn’t do anything. Next I deleted the app from my iPad and downloaded a fresh version from the app store. That got me a little further: It launched and landed me on the login window but wouldn’t allow me to login. Instead I just got a message saying that a new activation code had been sent via SMS or email and it may take a few minutes. While I waited, I tried to run the app on my iPhone. Same story there; crash before getting past the startup screen.

I waited awhile for the activation/confirmation code to arrive but it never did. I got impatient, which is usually instantaneous in my case, and launched Facebook through Safari. The whole time I was thinking about the Security settings and how that was most likely the culprit behind all of this anyway, since those were among the most recent major changes and the new stuff is usually the buggiest. In Account > Security > Login Approvals is a little checkbox that I unchecked, then saved. Back in my new Facebook app after entering the Confirmation Code that was finally sent out I was able to log in with no trouble at all. The same was true for my iPhone. Whew!

What a monstrous pain in the ass that was. With a little more testing and even sending out some “Known Bugs and Issues” notices to it’s users, the Facebook team could have made this process a whole lot easier for all of us. When you think about it, they had to have run into this little obstacle in their testing process, if they bother. And knowing that there is an issue, wouldn’t it make sense that warning users up front would be much easier than the swarm of support and help requests they must have received throughout the day and for the next few days? Then again, if you ever try to get in touch with these people, you’ll find it’s easier to sneak up and slap a “kick me” sign on Obama’s back.

Fortunately, I have enough common sense to just track down these little inconveniences myself. It’s a pain in the ass, sometimes things fly across the room with velocity fueled by angry frustration, but in the end it’s still completely painless when compared to the tech support offered by some companies.

Over and out!

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