If you haven’t heard, Facebook just launched a new home on Android, when I say Home, I meant a new ‘Skin’ that lives on Android phones. When installed, this ‘skin’ would basically takeover your home screen and functionality and turn it into a Facebook phone!!
So, what is Facebook Home? This is basically a brand new experience Facebook wants you to take on board with every aspect of using your Android phone. Why do I keep saying Android phone? That is because this new Home cannot exist on any Apple IOS products as Apple do not allow for such customisation.
So, a quick breakdown on what Facebook Home is all about:
- When you first turn on your phone, you no longer get a Home screen, this is now overtaken by what Facebook call it a ‘Cover Feed’, which is basically Facebook status updates with pretty pictures
- You can flick through these feeds using swipe gestures and double tapping would ‘Like’ the status
- Comments and messages can be easily access through these feeds
- A new feature call ‘Chat heads’ is pop-up profile pic of someone who messages you and sits on top of any Apps that you may be using. Tapping this pic would bring up a comment/message box where you can reply quickly
- All the usual Android Apps and functionality still works with this skin and can be access through your profile
- A new Facebook Phone will be launch with Home pre-installed made by HTC and will be named ‘First’, this phone is a mid-range handset, much of the technical specs are still being finalised
- Note, not all current Android phones will be able to install Facebook Home, so far only selected handsets from Samsung and HTC are on the list, I suppose this list should grow over time.
- Monthly software updates to be released to keep the Home app as updated as possible
Judging by the hands-on demo from Facebook, this ‘Skin’ really are meant for people who lives and breathe Facebook. The concept sounds interesting and it definitely looks very pretty and smooth, but my personal experience with facebook feeds are usually fill with Ads, baby photos and motivational pics. Now, do I really want to turn on my phone and see my friend’s 2 yr old eating Oreos or an Ad to buy shampoo? Not really. I’m happy to keep Facebook outside of my usual phone experience but for many others, this could be a game changer for them. Anyhow, the idea seems great for Facebook, not so much for Google or Apple since it completely takes over the OS user experience.
The Home App will be available for download on the Google play store from April 12 and limited to some handsets only. More interesting reads can be found here.