Get ready for Facebook posts and Instagram pics to take over your mobile device with Facebook Home. Facebook Home goes beyond being a placeholder for your apps and puts Facebook at the heart of your mobile device.
*Requires Facebook app and is only available for the following devices: HTC One X and X+, Samsung Galaxy S3 and Note 2.
Cover Feed: The Center of Facebook Home
From your lockscreen to your homescreen, Cover Feed keeps your Facebook Newsfeed just a tap away. To start, Facebook and Instagram pics are displayed as the backgrounds for your lock screen and home screen. With a tap, your homescreen transforms into a gigantic Facebook post. With another tap you can like and comment on a post or swipe to browse more posts. Background images can be viewed in full by tapping and holding the screen.
Those ever annoying Facebook notifications appear right over your home screen and disappear while browsing through posts. Notifications can be opened with a double tap or cleared with a quick swipe.
Chat Heads and Facebook Messenger
Most Facebook addicts will get a kick out of Facebook Home’s cover feed, but I’m enamoured with a new feature made for Facebook Messenger: chat heads.
When friends send you a message, a little circle with their profile pic will appear no matter what app you’re using (except Messenger). This is a chat head.
You can tap a chat head to reply to messages without leaving the app you’re already using. More chat heads appear as you message more people and remain on the screen until you delete them or close the Messenger app. Chat heads can be moved around the edges of your display when you’re not using them. When you’re done chatting you can drag a chat head to the bottom of the screen to delete it.
I really wish chat head was a feature for text messages without Facebook in the middle. It’s so simple and convenient. Unfortunately for Facebook, I rarely message my Facebook friends through Facebook. On the flip side, you don’t need Facebook Home to get chat heads – just Facebook Messenger.
Facebook Home App Launcher
Last – and least – is the Facebook app launcher. It’s similar to the android app drawer, but also let’s you post a status update, picture or check-in to Facebook. There’s a place to hold your favorite or most used apps or you can view all of your apps by swiping to the left. This is as good as it gets here.
To access the app launcher, drag your chat head, located at the bottom of Facebook Home, up towards the ‘app’ option. Dragging your chat head left opens Messenger. Drag to the right to open the last app you used. Unfortunately, there’s no way to customize these shortcuts.
Facebook Home Experience
Beyond being as data hungry as Google and trying to find new ways to advertise, why did Facebook make Facebook Home? Well, it’s no secret that Facebook is focusing on being a mobile company. However, making mobile apps does not make you a mobile company. Facebook Home is a step beyond apps and a step closer to a an interesting and unique ecosystem. Is it the right move for Facebook? I don’t think so.
The design and execution of Facebook Home is great, but it’s not being applied to the right type of media. The content in my newsfeed is not the type of content I want to constantly see on my home screen. Performance wise the app is snappy, but super slow when switching out of a call to the home screen. Also, the app launcher won’t replace any android launcher you’re already using. It simply doesn’t compare to what’s on the android market.
Have you had a chance to play with Facebook Home? Are you keeping it or deleting it?