As Facebook readies its rewritten native Android app to the public, Facebook is encouraging more of its employees to use Android devices instead of the iPhone by putting up posters all over its campus. Facebook’s goal—get all its employees to test its Android app for bugs.
The campaign is called “droidfooding,” and is derived from the term “dogfooding,” which refers to when company employees use their own products.
While the default choice for what phone employees got used to be an iPhone, a Facebook spokesperson tells me that now “We don’t encorage one device over another. We let employees choose.” When I asked what the breakdown of iOS to Android users is in the company, Facebook’s spokesperson admitted “I don’t have a ratio but with the early focus on our iPhone app and the multi-year cycle of carrier contracts we do have more iPhones deployed.”
While the posters ask employees to “switch” to Android phones, most employees have taken the middle way and started carrying both the iPhone and an Android device. This, sort of, backs what MG Siegler says about many Facebook employees preferring iPhone over Android:
why is it that Facebook has to hang these flyers throughout the campus to get employees to test Android builds? Josh sort of leads it in the way that Facebook itself pushed iPhones ahead of Android phones early on, but I’m not sure I’m buying that. I know a lot of folks who work at a lot of different companies in the Bay Area. Aside from the ones that work at Google (and including a surprising number of the people there) almost all seem to use iPhones as their primary device.
With nearly 4000 employees doing testing, Facebook hopes to squash bugs present in the beta builds of its Android apps through an internal bug reporting tool. The tool, named “rage shake,” submits a bug report to Facebook’s servers when the phone is shaken violently.
Facebook recently completed a massive rewrite of its iOS app, making it completely native as opposed to a combination of HTML5 and native. This rewrite gave a huge performance boost to app. Its Android app, however, still carries the older HTML5 code, though a native rewrite is rumored to be released soon.