I’ve been using Facebook Home for about 18 hours now and I’m just going to come right out and say it – I’m not that impressed. It has potential and parts of it look really pretty, but then most parts of it are just annoying and feel like you’re going back a couple of iterations of Android, especially the app launcher which is still stuck in the Gingerbread days.
My biggest problem with it is that there is no way to filter what friends or pages show up, it would be great if you could pick only certain friend groups, lists or pages that show up so that you only get the important things and avoid opening to your phone to something like I did in the picture below.
Every now and then though, my background turns into something awesome, like when a page I’ve liked post a cool image, and sometimes a status can look quite nice with the picture behind it too.
As I said above, the app drawer is very Gingerbread-esque which quite frankly is boring and ugly. All it consists of is icons on a black grid that you scroll up and down to view. The home screen features three Facebook buttons up the top to share your status, photos or check in, much like on the app. Below it is a 4×4 grid of apps that you can pick with a transparent background featuring a slideshow of your friends picture updates.
Navigating around Facebook Home involves you holding down your display picture at the bottom of the screen and dragging it either up to your add draw, left to your camera or right to your most recently open app. As far as I can tell you can’t change what things you open by dragging your display picture. The settings UI for it look like your standard facebook app settings that allows you to turn off pages or friends feeds from coming up and a few other tweaks like hiding the notification bar.
The version I was using didn’t include Chat Heads, sadly, as that was one of the features I can actually see myself using.
With a more modern app draw and more options for customisation I can see Facebook Home being quite good for a person who uses social networks a lot. Right now though, I still think there is a lot of work to be done before I start using it as one of my home screens.