HTC First And The Facebook Home

  • Focus on friends rather than apps
  • Image-heavy UI
  • Will roll out to select phones

Facebook just announced today their Home launcher for Android at an event at the company’s headquarters in California.

  • Focus on friends rather than apps
  • Image-heavy UI
  • Will roll out to select phones

Facebook just announced today their Home launcher for Android at an event at the company’s headquarters in California.

Facebook Home is a launcher with deep software integration with Android that puts Facebook services at the front and centre of the entire mobile experience. It’s actually a family of apps that changes the stock Android UI to (as Mark Zuckerberg puts it) put focus on people rather than apps.

There are two main features of the launcher that radically changes the Android UI. First is an app called Coverfeed which changes your homescreen to a giant newsfeed where stories about your friends are shown with edge-to-edge photos. From the homescreen, users can like a status by double tapping anywhere on the screen while comments can be viewed by tapping at the bottom of the screen.

Second is a feature called “Chat Heads” which sits on top of the UI making it easily accessible for users at any point in time. Chat Heads as the name implies is an improved chat app that lets users have a conversation with their friends anywhere in the phone’s environment.

See Also: Details of Rumoured Facebook Phone Leaks

The navigation on Facebook Home is drastically changed. There are no back buttons to press and the setup is very gesture-based. A “bobble” which is a picture of the phone’s owner is placed in a circle at the bottom of the screen and acts as the main navigation key for the phone. Flicking the bobble upwards will show your favourite apps in one screen, while the full app drawer can be accessed by swiping to the left of the favourites section.

There are also shortcuts on the app drawer for posting a status update, a photo or location very much like in the Facebook app for Android. If you swipe the bobble to the left will launch the messenger app while a swipe to the right will bring you the most recent app you opened.

Supported devices

According to Facebook, several manufacturers have already shown interest with putting the Facebook Home experience to their devices. HTC and AT&T have already announced a device that supports Facebook Home – the HTC First which was also unveiled during the event.

The HTC First will be available exclusively on AT&T starting April 12. Other models who will have a taste of the new launcher are the HTC One, HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note II. Facebook also promised to bring monthly updates and improvements to the launcher.

What are your thoughts about the new Facebook Home? Share them with us by leaving a comment below. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus or subscribe to our site for other news and stories in the tech space.

Leave a Reply