Starting on April 12th (that’s Friday next week), you can turn your Android phone into a social media machine thanks to Facebook Home app for Android. You may have read yesterday about Facebook’s dive into the Smartphone fray with their ‘own’ hardware phone which turned to be HTC First Android smartphone (First is the model name) that comes with a Facebook UI (you can read about it here). This is different.
Although HTC First is dedicated to be the actual Facebook Phone, you can easily install Facebook Home and your Android phone becomes a Facebook phone too, literally. The Home is a new launcher and skin by Facebook. Everything about this user interface screams ‘Facebook’ from the colors to the tools it comes with. It features rich content (from Facebook, of course) including status updates, friends lists and Facebook News Feed, right on the home screen. This replaces the traditional home screen and launcher that your phone comes with or that which you installed and makes it easier and faster to interact with Facebook friends, go through news feed, comment, share and like posts.
One of the best things I noticed about Facebook Home is that the Facebook messenger tool is accessible right on the home screen too, just by swiping the profile picture. The messenger tool is also integrated with the phone’s SMS and comes with a new feature called Chat Heads which overlay other applications and allows the user to easily and quickly gain access to chat conversations without having to close or minimize applications running on the forefront.
This smart move by Facebook is definitely a swing at Google who currently have an upper hand on all Android User Interface tools thanks to their tools that come with phones by default and their availability on Play Store.
Facebook Home will be made available for download for smartphones on April 12th according to Mark Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO and founder. The company also says that they are working on another interface tool for tablets and may be launching a Facebook Tablet, just like the Facebook Phone, in a few months.