Today Facebook has unveiled their first major foray into mobile (let’s ignore the HTC Statua/ChaCha/Salsa for now) with the introduction of Facebook Home. Home is a new Android skin/launcher that will be available for all Android devices, transforming the smartphone from an apps-first to a “people-first” experience.
Home is based around several key features, starting with the Cover Feed. Cover Feed is the mobile re-imagining of your Facebook News Feed, featuring rich content from your friends and those you follow including images and status updates. It takes the place of your phone’s traditional homescreen. You can easily comment, like, and interact directly from the Cover Feed.
But the interface still makes app easily accessible through a revamped app drawer. This is done so by dragging out from your profile picture at the bottom of the screen. The UI uses plenty of swiping interactions like this to reposition content, minimize stories, and chat with friends.
Speaking of chatting, Facebook Messenger is right out front, accessed again with another swipe from the profile photo. Messenger integrates with regular SMS and Facebook messages and is collated in a new feature called Chat Heads. Chat Heads overlay over other apps, allowing you to quickly access a conversations with friends without having to leave your current app or task.
Facebook Home will be available as a download for smartphones directly from the Play Store with plans for monthly updates. April 12th is the launch for a select group of Android devices. Tablet support should follow a few months down the road.