Facebook, owner of the world’s largest social network, said it unveiled an upgraded mobile application for phones and tablets running on Google Inc.’s Android operating system that will make the program run faster.

“Today we’re launching an updated Facebook app for Android,” wrote Facebook’s Keith Peiris in a blog. ”It’s now quicker and easier to view photos, get messages and navigate around the app.”

He cited three major changes:

Photos get better

  • Photos and albums are up to two times faster than the previous Android app. It’s also easier to share photos, view comments and edit captions on the go.

Messages on top

  • Your messages and notifications are now at the top of your screen. You can respond to friends and stay updated without leaving the page you’re on.

Menu on the side

  • You can quickly access your News Feed, Groups, games and apps from the new left-hand menu. The features you use most are now at your fingertips.

Facebook (Nasdaq: FB), using a new approach with code to create the software, aims to make it quicker and easier for users to open the app, view photos or post comments, said Frank Qixing Du, an engineer on the Facebook for Android team, in a note on the site. The company also added a story banner to show the latest posts, no matter where users are in their news feeds.

“This new release creates a solid foundation for the Facebook for Android app moving forward,” Qixing Du said. “The infrastructure in place will let us continue to make the app even faster, smoother, and feature-rich.”

The company is focusing on mobile services as more users access the social network from wireless devices instead of through the traditional desktop-computer version. Facebook’s number of mobile users jumped to 604 million in the third quarter, up 61 percent from a year earlier. It had more than 1 billion total active members.

The new Android application follows an upgrade to its counterpart for Apples iPhone and iPad tablet, which was announced in August. Speed was a focus for that update as well.

(Bloomberg contributed to this report.)