Facebook Brings Mobile Experience Home in New Android App
Home's Home Page
Facebook Home will be downloadable from the Google Play Store beginning April 12 for certain phones listed later in this slide show. It essentially is an aggregation of existing apps to make for a more user-friendly social experience.
HTC First Will Be First Out of the Chute
Chinese device maker HTC, which was the first maker of the Google Nexus 1 phone back in 2010, will have Facebook Home preloaded and ready to go. AT&T will be the first U.S. carrier. Pricing was announced at $99.99, but some strings are attached. More information is to come on that score.
Five Other Phones Will Be Up Next
Following the HTC First, five other phones will feature Facebook Home as an option: They are (left to right) HTC One, HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy S 4 and Samsung Galaxy Note II.
Chat Heads Are Here
One of the key attributes of Facebook Home is that standard apps, such as chat, texting and email, overlap onto others, such as photos and the Web. The idea is that users never have to think about logging into and out of apps; they just all come to the user on demand. Chat Heads show the faces of friends with whom you are in conversation while using another app.
Facebook Home also amalgamates various types of notifications, including texts, emails, voicemails, messages from favorite news sites and more. Everything comes to the home page, depending upon the user's preferences.
Home for Tablets? Yes, but Not for a Few Months
Zuckerberg said that Facebook Home for tablet use is a natural, and that development is under way but that it won't be ready for prime time "for several months."
Home Brings Many New Phone Faces
Depending on how the user wants to set it up, Facebook Home's home page will be the same as the lock screen and feature the user's favorite and/or most-used apps right up-front.
Home Chats Will Look Different
Photos of all chatters will be used at all times in the new app.
April 12 Is Download Day
Facebook, Android and its phone-making and app partners have circled April 12 on the calendar as D-Day for launching the new app, which is the first of its kind.
Zuck Meets the Press
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was swarmed by a full house of international press people during the launch event. He hasn't ruled out doing a deal with Apple for running Home on its iOS. "We have a great relationship with Apple, and I wouldn't rule out anything. The Android platform, however, is built from the ground up for development collaboration, whereas it takes a longer time to work with Apple."