Facebook Home now available, video tour posted

By , Apr 12, 2013

facebook home 1

Facebook Home just landed on select Android devices so the social networking giant figured it should do a video to highlight some of the features of its controversial new UI overlay. A first-look clip, included right past the break, has Facebook’s Product Director Adam Mosseri discussing Chat Heads, Cover Feed and nice gestures and animations which let you stay on top of what your Facebook friends have been up to, no matter what app you happen to be using at any given moment…

Facebook Home, which installs as the new default launcher and replaces your phone’s Lock screen, is designed to “shift your focus away from tasks and apps” towards updates from your friends. Initially, it will show you stories, status updates, photos, shares and likes, with “more and more stuff to come.”

You can swipe through the stories, which are laid out full screen on the Lock screen. Double tap the ones you like to ‘like’ them on Facebook. To zoom out of an image, just tap and hold. Chat Heads, “a better way to message and SMS your friends,” puts profile pictures of the people you interact with inside circles akin to Google+.

You can move Chat Heads around as they’ll stay active not only on your Cover Feed, but also overlaid on top of your currently active app. Tap and hold on the circle to reveal additional options or swipe it down to make it go away.

This allows you to “sort of multitask,” Adam says.

Here’s the clip.

Facebook Home can be downloaded free right from Google’s Play Store.

Your release notes:

Facebook Home is the mobile experience that puts your friends at the heart of your phone. From the moment you turn it on, you see a steady stream of friends’ posts and photos on your home screen.

Upfront notifications and quick access to your essentials mean you’ll never miss a moment. And when you download Facebook Messenger, you can keep chatting with friends when you’re using other apps.

• Glance at your phone for the latest photos and posts from your friends
• With chat heads and Facebook Messenger, you can keep chatting when you’re using other apps
• See news as it happens with bigger, bolder notifications
• Get right to Facebook, Instagram and other essentials

And here’s Mark Zuckerberg making an appearance in Facebook’s Home commercial.

To get the most out of Facebook Home, you should also download the latest versions of the main Facebook client and Facebook Messenger, the latter being required for the Chat Heads feature.

Facebook earlier today issued updates to both Facebook for Android update to bring “new permissions for Facebook Home” and Messenger for Android which enables Chat Heads and the aforementioned multitasking feature.

Facebook Messenger for Android (Chat Heads)

To learn more about Facebook Home, visit the official web page.

Facebook has also teamed up with HTC to launch the First smartphone which comes preloaded with the Home software. The device is available from AT&T, starting today.

HTC First coming to ATT teaser

The new Home app is initially available for the HTC One/One X, Samsung’s Galaxy S3/4 and Galaxy Note II. Any Android phone can currently use Chat Heads through the updated Messenger app.

You can also download the APK here to get around country blocks, though you’ll still need a supported HTC/Samsung phone (expect device blocks to be circumvented in 3, 2, 1…).

If you don’t like Home and would like to get rid of it, The Verge has a handy article on that.

Early reviews of Facebook Home are mixed and many of our commenters have expressed hope that Facebook won’t spam iOS with Home.

According to Mark Zuckerberg himself, his company is “aligned” with Android’s openness so he doesn’t see Home coming to iOS in the near future.

We have a pretty good partnership with Apple, but they want to own the whole experience themselves. There aren’t a lot of bridges between us and Google, but we are aligned with their open philosophy.

However, “at some point” the feature may land on iOS.

“Of course, a lot of people also love iPhones – I love mine, and I would like to be able to deliver Facebook Home there as well,” he remarked.

You have to admit that those UI animations look great.

That’s because Home was designed in Apple’s QuartzComposer tool.

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  • RarestName

    How ironic is this that a company who used Apple’s tool to create a launcher for Apple’s biggest competitor in the smartphone market?

    I’ve just visited the Play Store link and there are already three one star reviews.

  • Guest

    Love how an Apple news site covers these awesome Apple stories.

  • jose castro

    gay

  • Kurt

    I think it looks really cool. I like the multitasking aspect. The problem is, I dont like facebook. So…

  • bloodshed

    for a moment, i thought there’s an ios version of this so called Facebook Home..anyways, i guess we are better off without it..more fb lag! who needs?!

  • ReanimationXP

    Pretty weak implementation for an entire shell. Seems to be missing a lot of what other shells / launchers would have at this point in time, but I’m not familiar enough with Android to know what that might be.

    I do think I like their bit about conversations. I’d like to keep people I’ve been talking to recently on the screen as a sort of reminder to continue the conversation. Would be a sweet tweak for iMessage. Maybe after a couple hours of no contact from that person (email, imessage, facebook), the dot would auto-hide.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamesheckiii James Heck III

    Curious as to why Sebastien has you cover something that is Android only. Über boring.

    • http://www.idownloadblog.com Sebastien

      Home is a pretty big deal for the whole smartphone industry. it deserves a mention

      • http://www.facebook.com/jamesheckiii James Heck III

        I think it’s been covered ad nausem elsewhere.

  • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

    So great, having all shitty quotes shared by my friends, on my home screen…(sarcasm off).

    Now Seriously, everything looks great with professional photos, but in reality, all the content shared by our friends doesn’t look like these at all… I must say that I only like the UI… very well designed. Simple and beatiful… But I don’t think that this will be a success.

    • Devam

      Soooooo true!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-Cooper/100000164561256 Matthew Cooper

    Its cool for some maybe but I didnt like it. Theres too much going on, I like my touchwiz launcher better. If I want FB ill just tap the icon

  • http://www.facebook.com/SimerpreetSinghSaddana Simerpreet Singh

    what if we need to call immediately, i see no shortcut for keypad….
    its the main thing n its in app gestures…
    basically you dont have to click the facebook app. this is kinda autorun for facebook.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    this um suuuuuuucks

  • maurid

    No one needs or uses Facebook THIS much. Or at least not anymore.

    I’ll pass.

  • tjT3CH

    Someone needs to make a tweak that works with BiteSMS/Messages+ so the chat heads will pop up.