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Why is Facebook's app so much better lately? Ask Big Nerd Ranch

Facebook's official iOS app has been improving by leaps and bounds lately. First it went native, and then added a series of great new features and redesigned elements piece by piece. In fact, if you were a conspiracy theorist, you might think that Facebook was getting a little help -- and in this case, you'd be right.

AllThingsD reports that Facebook has made a deal with the popular iOS dev camp Big Nerd Ranch to provide a weeklong, 40-hour crash course on iOS development to any interested employees. More than 450 of Facebook's employees have gone through the course (mostly software engineers, but not exclusively), and about two-thirds of them have focused on Android rather than iOS. But in general, the deal shows just how important mobile platforms are to Facebook, and if you've been watching the official app lately, you can see just what a great effect it's had.

It's worth noting, too, that this is a testament to Big Nerd Ranch and its ability to teach this stuff. I've enjoyed talks from Aaron Hillegass at a few conferences, and our own Brett Terpstra is a huge fan of The Ranch's courses. If you're an iOS developer (or just an aspiring one), it's worth looking into the available programs. For the rest of us, we'll just enjoy the results their teachings, and this vastly superior Facebook iOS experience.

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