It was about time for Facebook to takeover the mobile segment with a really cool application and Facebook Home is definitely the thing we were looking for. Announced today during their official Android gathering, Facebook vouches to bring exclusive features to Google lovers; features which will surely make more than a couple of Apple owners drop iOS.
Unlike any other social applications, Facebook Home aims to overtake the Android home screen with highly-relative cover notifications, displaying the most important updates from your news feed, right in plain sight.
How does Facebook Home work?
Found just a swipe away from the lock screen, Facebook Home will instantly send people updates, letting users know what friends are up to at any time. The core of the application focuses on text updates accompanied by the friend’s profile picture in the left side, but by far the most interesting element resides in the background.
Whenever someone posts something online, Facebook will present a summary of their deeds, beautifully illustrated by the user’s cover photo on the back (just to remind you that currently Facebook is in charge of the phone). Once notifications are up, they can be dismissed using a simple wipe gesture, while insisting longer on a particular stream will gather all those remaining.
But then, everything might not be hunky-dory with Facebook Home. First of all, this service is said to rely on a powerful algorithm that scans each notification and filters only the most relevant. As with any new app, problems will probably be encountered. Secondly, Facebook Home seems to be quite the power hog. All of these updates sent right on the lock screen will directly feed on the phone’s power reserve and, because it’s using the complete display surface to “upload” the cover photo, it will surely require some extra juice.
Another cool feature announced today is called Chat Heads. To illustrate, let’s say you are playing Dead City and a colleague sends a chat invitation. Facebook will instantly display this inside the game as a circular icon on the right side, which can be then moved around the screen. Tapping this small icon will open a pop-window, containing the chat message, in which you can directly reply and continue chatting, while killing some zombies in the meantime. This also works for text messages and group chats, all of them being displayed in different color themes, but in the same manner.
Those wishing to get their hands on Facebook Home as soon as possible will have to browse to Google Play to download it (not now, give it until April 12th). Moreover, only the Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, the HTC One, One X+ and the Note 2 can have it to start with. We’ve found that the company is hustling to bring functionality to a broader range of Android handsets, including tablets.