Facebook Home is here. The Android launcher, which amps up Facebook features on your Google blower, was revealed yesterday by Mark Zuckerberg.
The new HTC First also got an airing, with many dubbing it the ‘Facebook phone’, (despite the HTC ChaCha being called the same thing a couple of years back).
So what can Facebook Home do? And what phones does it work with? Read on and we’ll tell you five key things you need to know about this novel new function.
1 It’s an app launcher
It’s best to think of Facebook Home like an Android skin that you can install yourself.
It has three key components - Cover Feed, Chat Heads and App Launcher, each giving you deeper access to a whole raft of Facebook content.
Zuckerberg says it’s all about making your contacts the star of the show.
2 It makes your home screen come alive
This is nothing new for those with Windows Live Tiles. But Cover Feed serves up real time information from Facebook to your Android phone’s home screen.
Essentially, you can see your Facebook news feed, with status updates, shares and pics, without having to unlock your device.
Your profile pic acts as movable icon which can fire up messaging and apps.
3 It gives your phone a Facebook makeover
The App Launcher might not look too exciting, but if you’re a social network obsessive, you’ll surely appreciated how it gives a unified and smart look to your phone, putting all your key apps in one place under the Facebook banner.
The ChatHeads function is also a very smart way of pulling together messages from Facebook and texts, building on the work seen with the likes of BlackBerry’s ace messaging Hub.
4 But it only works on a string of Android devices
You’ll need to be packing a high-end Android handset, or HTC’s new First phone, to be able to use Facebook Home.
HTC One, HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy Note II punters can all get in on the action right now.
The HTC First will land in the US on April 12th, although a UK date is yet to be revealed. The app launcher itself will hit Google Play on the same day.
5 And tablet users have got a long wait
Got an Android tablet? Well, you’ve got a wait of ‘several months’ before Facebook Home will play nice with your slate.
No other details were given, but we’d expect to see this on the best-selling Google tablets around.
That means Samsung, Asus and even the Big G itself could get in on the action.