updated 12:20 pm EDT, Wed October 19, 2011
Facebook Messenger gets big iOS update
Facebook has posted a significant 1.5 update to Facebook Messenger (App Store) to put it more on par with iMessage. Apart from more explicit iOS 5 support itself, the app now has live typing notices much like its Apple counterpart. It gives quicker access to those who message frequently and makes distinctions between those who are online at the desktop versus mobile.
Also in place are 12 more languages and some speed upgrades.
The upgraded Messenger still works on devices using iOS 4 or later and is currently only optimized for iPhones and iPods, although the regular Facebook app provides a native interface for iPads.
Both Messenger and iMessage are intended as data-only alternatives to texting. Apple's alternative is a potential threat as it comes with iOS 5 by default and doesn't require signing in to Facebook to work.