Since last few months, rumour mills were abuzz about a new Facebook phone. Conspiracy theorists pounded one story after another, amplifying the excitement.
But Mark Zuckerberg always denied these stories. Although, he confessed on several occasions that they are working on something big. In one press conference, this is what he told us, “We’re not building a phone and we’re not building an operating system; but we’re building something that’s a whole lot deeper than just another app.”
But little did we know at that time, that Facebook doesn’t plan to launch just one Facebook phone; they are aiming for several.
This week, Facebook unveiled their Android launcher, aptly called “Facebook Home” which will basically cement them as the de-facto social networking site on every Android phone which chooses to download this application. In short, once you download this smart app, your smartphone will convert into a Facebook-centric phone.
Smart move, I must say…
The application would be available on Google Play after April 12, 2013 and is compatible with Jelly Bean and Ice Cream Sandwich versions of Android.
Gingerbread users will have to wait. HTC First becomes the first phone which will be shipped with preinstalled version Facebook Home.
What exactly is Facebook Home?
Facebook Home is an Android launcher which is like an external layer to your already existing Android OS. Once installed, it will ‘hijack’ the home-screen, lock-screen and several other locations.
For a first-time Android user, it would appear that she is using a Facebook phone!
Unlike Amazon which completely transformed Android for their Kindle Fire and introduced their Kindle Store within the eco-system, Facebook Home will not create an earthquake with this new application. You will be able to use your Android just like before: Google Play store to download apps, Gmail, Chrome Browser, Maps and other core apps. But the difference would be that your home-screen and lock-screen would appear differently.
2 Reasons Facebook Home would be fun
a) Cover Feed:
Facebook Home introduces few new terms, and one of those is Cover Feed. Once your phone “wakes up”, the existing lock-screen and home-screen would be replaced by this Cover Feed. The whole screen will be filled with your friend’s updates and posts; mostly images. The best part is that you can easily like or comment on these posts without even opening the actual Facebook application.
b) Chat Head:
Another new feature of Facebook Home. Chat Head is a message pop-up which will appear on your phone, regardless of the activity which you are currently doing. Chat head will include the message from the sender along with her image encircled. The best part about chat head is that, you can instantly reply to the message by tapping on it. As you tap, you would be directed towards the message section instantly. Your current work remains unaffected.
2 Reasons Facebook Would Not Be Fun
a) Privacy Issues:
Imagine my mom comes into my room and ask for my phone. As I pick the phone and it “wakes up”, my friend’s images and post will start appearing on the lock-screen and then the home-screen.
Considering that my friends behave a lot crazy these days, it can pose a problem as my mom would be able to easily watch the action. In my view, the ‘privacy’ part can be a bit compromised with this feature.
b) Not on Apple
Apple fans will have to wait little longer; or just wait forever. From the speech which Mark Zuckerberg gave, it is clearly evident that they are more focused on Android as of now. Apple is not in their plans. “Anything that happens with Apple is going to happen with partnership,” Zuckerberg said. “Google’s Android is open so we don’t have to work with them.”
What is your opinion about Facebook Home? Are you excited enough to download it? Any changes which you like to happen?
Please share your views in the comments section. Maybe Mark Zuckerberg is reading this right now!