The ‘Come see our new Home on Android’ event was finally over. As expected, Facebook revealed a Facebook-centered smartphone and the core features of its ‘Facebook Home’ launcher. It’s been a long time coming and we’re glad that it’s finally official. Now, shall we take a quick look on its main features?
First of all, we should note that Facebook Home is not a forked version as earlier reports suggested. Instead, it’s just a launcher-like app that will take over your lockscreen and homescreen and will push Facebook services right at your fingertips. On an android phone with Facebook Home, it will show a cover-flow style “Coverfeed” of the newsfeed without needing to launch the FB application. To understand it better, you might want to watch this introduction video from Facebook.
Zuckberg explained that the reason why they developed such an app is because people spend 20% of their mobile phone on Facebook. But based on the graph below, I’m not convinced as the other apps fall behind by a mile. Considering Twitter and Youtube’s popularity, it’s hard to believe that they only get that much traction. Another thing that we can consider is Facebook poor loading time on Android, they haven’t fixed it yet and has messed it up numerous time already so maybe the longer time was spent on waiting? We’re not sure, though. Facebook is really famous for its great ease of use but I’m not really a fan of the Facebook for android app. In fact, I uninstalled it already and I just use Chrome for browsing Facebook.
The first android phone to sport the Facebook home is the HTC first which was leaked a few days ago. It’s the real thing and it’s now the pioneer device of this new Facebook app. Mark Zuckerberg played around the rumors that has been spreading for the past couple of months but he finally ended all the talk. “How you can turn your Android phone into a great social phone? We’re not building a phone and we’re not building an operating system, but we are building something that’s a deeper experience than an app”, he said. At that moment, it was confirmed.
HTC First boasts a mid-range configuration with its 4.3-inch display, dual-core Qualcommm Snapdragon CPU, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It also has LTE but for now it’s only for the U.S. There’s nothing really special aside from the deep integration of Facebook with it. Whether it will sell or not, we can’t tell but considering there are tons of millions of people who love Facebook, we’ll not be surprised if it’ll do get a fair share of the market some time soon. HTC is now available for pre-order on AT&T (USA) starting today with a price of $99 when bundled with a 2-year contract. The ultimate social will also be available on Europe but there’s no mention of any release dates yet.
Facebook Home Core Features: Coverfeed, ChatHead, and Notifications
These 3 make up the Facebook Home and these are the selling points that might hook you up in trying out the new launcher app. To get a better view on these, watch the videos below.
CoverFeed on Facebook Home
The CoverFeed’s main purpose is to display most important things as it will show you the status updates and photos of your friends flash at your homescreen.
The dilemma of switching through apps when using Facebook messenger is a big headache to many, and through this new development that issue will be well taken care of. Chat Heads enables users to pop right into the conversation wherever they are on their phone.
The notifications is slightly revamped and it will also appear straight to your homescreen giving you the access to the most crucial details instantly. Some don’t want this feature though as it might disturb them if ever they’re doing something else.
Can your device run Facebook Home?
Unfortunately, despite being available for download on Google Play Store this coming April 12, Facebook Home will only support a handful of smartphones. The devices listed above: Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X/X+, and HTC One are the first few who will get to taste Facebook Home. As for the tablet version, Facebook said that it will be available in the coming months. If you’re an iOS device user, sorry but you’ll not get the new app probably because of the restrictions on iOS.
Facebook has come a long way and we’re excited on how they would grow bigger in the future (minus the ads!). According to Mr. Zuckerberg, there will be no ads on the Facebook Home for now but we’re sure that it will roll out some time soon. I’m also waiting for their much awaited mobile centered redesign which looks cleaner than the current layout. I’m really not that attracted by this new feature but as I’ve said I’d be more interested in the improvement on the Facebook app but we’ll see how it goes. How about you? Do you like the idea of Facebook Home?