Facebook this morning has finally uncovered “Home”, their new suite of apps and home screen replacement for Android devices, alongside the HTC First which will come preloaded with Home. Facebook Home isn’t just a new UI for your app launcher though; it also takes over your lock screen with a custom Cover Feed which prioritizes updates from your favourite people.
There wasn’t that much revealed about the HTC First device other than that it will be featuring Facebook Home, but there have been specs leaked earlier indicating that it will feature a 4.3-inch mid range device.
The main announcement was focused on the new software suite, designed to make Facebook about ‘people not apps’. Your new welcome screen is focused on the full screen images that are status updates from your friends that you can double tap them and they will flip over where you can like or comment if the status excites you.
One other new feature which is quite interesting is Chat Heads. This is Facebook’s new messaging app which is significantly more integrated across the platform. The main idea of it is that it allows you to quickly and easily communicate with friends without having to leave whatever app you’re in. It does this by placing circular icons on the right hand side where you can tap on them to open a pop-over chat dialog that combines your Facebook messages and text messages into a single interface, these will be differentiated by the different colours of chat bubbles (hmm, Windows Phone?).
The suite uses your display pictures as a home button down the bottom of the display which if you tap it it takes you back home, except your home with this is full of social updates not your usual array of apps.
At first Facebook Home will only be available for a few select phones, the HTC One, One X+, Samsung Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S III and Galaxy S 4. More devices will become available including tablets after the release. It’ll be available April 12 in the USA, with no release date yet for Australia.
If you want to check it out now, Facebook has released a few videos which are below