Facebook unveils “Home” on Android

Following years of rumors of a Facebook phone or OS, Facebook announces a new smartphone user interface for Android called Facebook Home

MANILA, Philippines – Following years of rumors that Facebook was building its own phone and/or operating system, the social networking giant announced a new smartphone user interface (UI) for Android called Facebook Home. Facebook shied away from calling it a new UI, instead they described it as a “new category of experiences”.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement at a press event at Facebook HQ in Menlo Park, California on Thursday April 4th (April 5 in Manila). Zuckerberg said the thinking behind Facbeook Home is to put people first instead of apps. Facebook describes Home as a, “new way to turn your Android phone into a new, living, social phone”. 

The Home UI consists of 3 main parts, cover feed, chat heads, and apps.

Cover Feed

Imagine Cover Feed like you would a moving screen saver on your home screen that displays the latest photos you friends have posted, status updates, and links they have shared. “Content comes right to you”. You can double tap on posts to like, and comment without ever having to leave the home screen.  When you receive new messages, or emails or alerts from you other apps they will appear as notifications normally do over you cover feed. 

Chat Heads

Chat Heads allow you communicate with friends no matter what application you are on. Incoming text messages and Facebook messages share the same experience. When one of your contacts sends you a message, their avatars float over your apps you can move around apps and attend to the messages when you want to. 

Apps

While Facebook is putting people front and center and pushing apps back – apps are always accessible with a swipe of a key. USers will need to swipe up to bring up the app launches where all your apps are located.

Watch Facebook’s official video for Home here.


Facebook Home can be downloaded for free from the Android App store starting April 12th. Users of the HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung Galaxy SIII and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will be the first to get access to the new UI. Home will also work on the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4 in the coming months.

Facebook says it will release updates with new features every month. With each update more Android phones will get access to the new UI.  – Rappler.com

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