It was a launch that people were really looking forward to and last night Facebook took the covers off their latest home on Android called Facebook Home. Facebook Home aims at replacing your current launcher with a Facebook centric launcher which would make your entire phone a hub for Facebook. Plenty of new features were added to what used to be a standard application and this could be a huge opportunity for the launcher market in Android to uproar. The Home launches officially on April 12th in the US and is exclusive currently to ony five devices namely HTC One X/X+, HTC One, Samsung Galaxy SIII and S IV and Samsung Note II. More devices are slated to be added soon. However, you need to be on Android ICS or JellyBean or up to be able to use Home.
Some of the noteworthy features of Home are as follows:
Chatheads: Chatheads basically is a chat client built on top of your native skin on Android which would allow you to see the bubble heads of people who have messaged you. It integrates Facebook messages as well as Text Messages in one place and makes it easy for you to be able to talk to your friends while you are browsing or playing games on your phone.
Cover Feed: Cover feed is what will greet you when you turn your Android phone on. It would be a accumulation of all your notifications and quick access to your Facebook home with cover images making for a pretty back drop. The locking and unlocking features too are pretty neat.
App Drawer: The app drawer on the Facebook Home is also pretty neatly done where you can add in apps of your choice as installed on your device to quickly access them while browsing Facebook Home. This is a dedicated app drawer which comes pre installed with apps such as Instagram and Facebook Messages and Camera.
Smart Phones: It was also announced at the event that Facebook hopes to partner with OEM’s to have Facebook Home right out of the box and the HTC First would be the first device that would support that. The pre orders have already begun and the device would be an AT&T exclusive and available in four vibrant colors, starting at $99.99 on contract. More such devices are to follow.
It definitely was an event that clearly showed how keen Facebook are on Mobile browsing of their services and they do realize that world is slowly moving away from desktops. There is no sure shot way to know if Facebook Home would be a hit or not but it definitely is a neat start, much better than what Facebook did when it attempted to make an entire phone.