Facebook has finally unveiled its long-awaited software Facebook Home that enhances Android smartphones, making them more integrated into the social-media world. The steady stream of posts and photos from friends on Facebook is the first thing users see when they turn on the phone with the installed Home. Facebook notes that new product is not a new operating system or a smartphone, but a “family of apps that puts your friends at the heart of your phone.”
The product’s benefits are highlighted on a dedicated Facebook page that says “Welcome Home.” Thanks to Home, now users don’t need to navigate through an array of apps to get to Facebook. The latest posts from friends take the screen, working as a cover feed, and the notifications about calls, events, Facebook updates, etc. will appear right on the home screen above the posts. A user can tap the notifications to read them or swipe them away and read them later.
Home also allows chatting with Facebook friends even while using other apps—the message with the friend’s face pops up on the screen, and by tapping the message a user opens the chat window.
Photo; Facebook Home, www.facebook.com/home
The apps on the phone can be easily accessed. On the home screen, there’s a profile picture of the phone’s owner, and to quickly navigate to the Messenger, Apps and the Latest App from the screen, a user will have to drag his or her picture left, up and right, respectively. To post to Facebook, a user has to drag the picture up, again.
Facebook Home will be available for a free download from Google Play Store starting April 12. It will work on a selection of smartphones including the HTC One and HTC One X, the Samsung Galaxy SIII and S4 to name but a few. The tablet version for Home will arrive in the coming months. The two giants will release the HTC First with the pre-loaded Home in the U.S. on April 12, and it can be already pre-ordered at AT&T for $99.
«At a deeper level, I think this can start to be a change in how we use computing devices. For more than 30 years, computers were mostly about tasks… The modern computing device has a very different place in our lives—it’s also for making us more social, connected and aware. By putting people first and then apps, is one of many small but meaningful changes in our relationship with technology over time,» commented Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook.