Facebook announces Home, turns any Android phone into a social media machine

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.

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  • raghu

    so a social skin for android…

  • AlexMWilliams

    This might have been useful three years ago but no one I know , including myself, uses Facebook anymore. Everyone is either posting on Twitter or Google+.

    • Nathan Aker

      Yeah the facebook trend has died a bit but facebook still has the most users by far.

      • AlexMWilliams

        I bet I’m still considered a user even though I use the thing maybe four times a year. Only reason I still have it is if someone from my family has to contact me and Facebook is their only means of communication. This is of course talking about distant family that I don’t see often.

    • DavidVarghese

      Honestly, I have grown tired of social media websites… The only reason why I still have Facebook is to keep in touch with some of my friends… As for Google+, the only reason why I “use” it is because Google is forcing it on me…

      • bmg314

        Right… how many fb accounts are out there that are just dead accounts.

        And it’s good to hear that I’m not alone in feeling that Google+ is being rammed down our throats.

        • Christopher Robert

          Google+ is going to be fully integrated into Android with the launch of Key Lime Pie. Also i have no problem with it. I hated Facebook, and am not into all of the personal posts, but the Hangouts and the messaging on Google+ is great.

          • bmg314

            And if you love it, that’s cool. But for those of us who don’t, why should we HAVE to sign up if we don’t want to? That’s all I’m saying… I’m not used to my beloved goog doing stuff like that….

      • MrAntisocialGuy

        Google also forced me to have a YouTube account just because I use their email and calendar. Talk about your 800 pound gorilla in the room!

  • MrAntisocialGuy

    Who Cares!?!?

  • Fahim Yaqoob

    some people will hate what i say, i do not like facebook much. But they are clever. Android is so flexible and open. This is why making a os would not work for facebook. That is why i feel firefox, maybe ubuntu and blackberry(uses android apps) will not do well. Because so many devs out there will make apps that allow you to have a similar homescreen.

  • Vikinglifeguard

    With how horrible their app is, I don’t know why anyone would want this or trust them.

  • CerealFTW

    Too bad Facebook still sucks…

  • Fahim Yaqoob

    only comparable phone is a blackberry

  • David Coiner

    Actually turns only 6 phones into a social media machine when released.

  • Scott Tompkins

    How many taps to get to the, you know… phone!?

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      2 swipes. One to your favorites. Another to tap on the Phone icon.

    • Manbo

      What’s a phone?
      What do you mean “talk” to people?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Farhan-Chowdhury/1170646625 Farhan Chowdhury

    man i’m a complete fool to think that Facebook was going to show a new facebook app that runs smoothly and uses Google’s holo guidlines. Shame on me.

    • DavidVarghese

      Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      You know what IS cool about the Facebook phone? It’s running stock Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Pretty sweet :)

      • http://twitter.com/mjwhirly Matthew Woehrle

        Are you at the actual event? If so in opinion, is Home any good?

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  • Frankie Abaddon

    Lmfao their app sucks so this won’t be any better. Facebook first correct the app.

  • TechGuy

    Facebook and HTC are scraping the barrel of ideas with this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/steve.frank.50 Steve Frank

    This is good for 15 years olds I guess, but Social media sites have worn out their welcome IMO.

  • bboyAndroid

    I don’t have a Facebook acct. Lucky me

  • Christopher Robert

    I don’t understand why anyone would intentional download an app that will put advertisement on their homescreen. Not to mention you might as well through your privacy out the window given the permission this app is going to require.

  • Ahhk

    FB Home. haha. Ain’t gonna happen for me.

    I dont even have the FB app installed on my GS3…and even have the battery-sucking G+ disabled. I can be “virtually social” when I’m home.

    Gmail, Talk, and Phone. That’s all I need to communicate….

    • Ben Kapferer

      And if you really need to check Facebook or Google+, there’s always the web browser.

      • Ahhk

        True dat. But, even so, I can’t think of too many scenarios where I would NEED to check FB.

  • niuguy

    Strange, because I’m an educated 30 something whose friends are the same and we all use Facebook pretty heavily as a friend network…planning get togethers sharing photos of each other at various events. Most of my relatives and favorite companies, breweries, and restaurants are on it. Don’t know what if do without it!

  • Bradd Dantuma

    The title states ” any android phone”, the article reads “a select group of phones”. Did they discontinue all other android phones…I wasn’t aware.

  • NorthVandea

    Sooooo I bought a Galaxy Nexus to free myself from slow bloated custom skins. Fat chance I’m gonna us that POS the Android Facebook app is slow/buggy enough without a skin dragging the whole system down with it. My prediction? this crap’s gonna crash&burn.

  • MisterMints

    one of the rwasons I dont have Facebook and Twitter widgets on my home screen is because of the constant updates of information it does kills my battery. if a facebook launcher has news feeds and updates integrated so its the main part of the “experience”, what will this do to battery life? Not that id ever user a shitty Facebook launcher mind!

  • ari_free

    Who needs facebook when we just post our status updates every 5 minutes here on Phandroid?

    hmm imagine what the phandroid phone would be like…

    • NorthVandea

      That idea sounds like a gold mine ari_free!