On April 4th, Facebook once again gathered tech reporters from around the globe for another big reveal. This time they announced Facebook Home, their new Home for Android. Many speculated about a Facebook phone, envisioning the design and how Facebook would integrate with the Android operating system.
Mark Zuckerberg began the announcement by stressing the idea of getting back to the basics with our mobile experiences and that we need to turn our focus to be more people-focused, rather than app-focused. He showed users a new way to integrate the Facebook experience into their Android devices. He talked about how you can turn your android into a simple social device with Facebook Home.
Home redesigns your phone’s home and lock screen to improve your Facebook experience. It involves four key features:
The first element of Home involves a rich News Feed called Cover Feed. Cover Feed is the Foundation of Home. It aims to show you the most important elements from your Facebook community.
Notifications work similar to your notification center on Facebook. It makes sure you don’t miss critical things. When someone writes on your timeline or sends you a Facebook Message, it will all collect in your Notifications.
The App Launcher has three components:
The first component of the App Launcher includes your messages. This includes both your messages through Facebook, as well as your SMSs.
Apps includes pages of bookmarks managed by the user. The user can choose which apps they use most and place them on the forefront. The last pages in the Apps includes a comprehensive list of all the apps on the users phone.
Most recently used app
The last element in the App Launcher includes a shortcut to the most recently used app. This allows the user to quickly return to a task if they’ve been interrupted by a notification or they were pulled away to a new task.
Chat Heads can be used for both Facebook Messages and SMS. You can talk to whoever you want form anywhere on your phone. A Chat Head shows up on your screen as the sender’s Profile Picture. As soon as the message pops up, it shows you a preview of the message where you have the option of reading it or continuing with what you were doing. The Chat Head can follow you to other apps until you choose to close it.
Tacked on to the end of the announcement was a presentation by HTC. Peter Chou, CEO of HTC spoke at the event about the new HTC first. He talked about how it will help bring social and mobile closer. The new device will combine great HTC design and Facebook Home, giving you the best Facebook experience on your mobile device. HTC and AT&T will be the first to pre-load Facebook Home onto new devices with the HTC first. The HTC first will be available in four colors and will run on AT&T’s LTE network. The HTC first will be available for $99.99 on April 12th, exclusively at AT&T. It’s available for pre-order starting today.
Facebook Home can easily be installed in the Google Play Store and will be available in about a week. Facebook Home currently only available on Android mobile devices, but will soon be made available on tablets in the coming months. Facebook hopes to release frequent updates and for Facebook Home to be made available on more devices each month.
To learn more about Facebook Home and to find out if it’s available on your android device, click here.