April 8, 2013

Facebook Home

During Facebook's big reveal, CEO Mark Zuckerberg showcased their new service for Android devices, putting Facebook on pretty much everything on your phone. Their new service is a launcher that is loaded onto your phone and essentially swaps out your current launcher (user interface) with their own, similar to how GO Launcher works if you are familiar with it. The launcher, known as Facebook Home, will be available for download starting from April 12th for a limited amount of phones which include the Galaxy SIII, Galaxy Note II, HTC One X, HTC One X+, as well as upcoming phones such as the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy SIV. When you use the new launcher, your old lock and home screens will be replaced with Facebook's variants, which will show all of your Facebook updates once you press the wake/power button on your phone. This allows you to browse Facebook right away, but tap onto the face icon at the bottom and it gives you options to visit the app menu or to go to messaging. This is still just a launcher for Android so you can still use your own apps as well as the ones bundled with the operating system.

The Cover Feed allows you to scroll through updates similar to the standard Facebook app, allowing you to post and view comments. There is also still the standard android notification pane/bar that shows incoming SMS/MMS, messages, Facebook posts, and whatever else you guys get notifications for, like the Tamagotchi app.

Chat Heads is a persistent Facebook messaging app that appears over other apps on the device. This means that you can carry on a conversation with someone without leaving the app you were either reading or playing with. It can also show the entire message history without having to exit your current application.

Sadly, this app isn't available for iOS Devices. Some people may be happy about it, others may not. I personally wont be using this launcher as I don't see a need to have my Facebook updates in front of me every time I pull out my phone, and the Touch-Wiz UI Samsung has provided is perfectly fine.

Martin Tam is an editor and the Director of Video Production at [blank]’s Universe. He is also a technology enthusiast that particularly enjoys computers and photography. He enjoys breaking things and sleeping in his spare time.