Facebook has launched a Facebook phone. No, Facebook is not getting into the handset manufacturing business anytime soon, nor is it unveiling a Facebook operating system, not yet, at any rate.
The ‘Facebook phone’, which has been rumored to be coming for quite some time now, turns out to be a suite of software customizations you can download to your Android handset, to turn said handset into a ‘social’ phone with a Facebook-focused home screen. To quote the social network, “Facebook Home is a new experience that lets you see the world through people, not apps.”
We designed Home to be the next version of Facebook. But we also wanted to do something more. We wanted to reimagine the way we all use computing devices to make us more connected and bring us closer to the people we care about.
Facebook Home, which will be available as a free download from Google Play from April 12th., sits on top of Android, and plays social with the user interface. It changes the phone to revolve around friends and people, instead of tasks and apps. “Because of Google’s commitment to openness, you can have experiences on Android that you can have on no other phone”, says Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebook Cover feed
When you wake up your phone with Facebook Home, you see a changing cover feed like a slideshow without doing anything. Cover feed replaces the lock screen and home screen. Cover feed is for those in-between moments like waiting in line at the grocery store or between classes, says Facebook.
Facebook Chat heads
With chat heads you can keep chatting with friends even when you’re using other apps. When friends send you messages, a chat head appears with your friend’s face, so you see exactly who you’re chatting with.
If a friend posts on your timeline, you’ll receive notifications with their profile pictures. To open notifications, tap them. And if you don’t want to deal with notifications just then, swipe to hide.
Facebook Home availability
Facebook Home will be available as a free download from the Google Play Store starting April 12.
Home works on the HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung GALAXY S III and Samsung GALAXY Note II. Home will also work on HTC One and Samsung GALAXY S4, and on more devices in the coming months.
Home will also be available pre-installed. HTC and AT&T are working together to deliver a phone with Home, called the HTC First, which goes on sale April 12.