Designed to be the next version of the popular social network, Facebook has just officially revealed a brand new software integration for Android that the company dubbed as Home. Aiming to let users see the world through people rather than just apps, Home pretty much put Facebook services as the center of one’s Android device.
Focusing heavily on social interaction, the new Facebook Home is actually a combination of several elements: first being the cover feed which replaces the usual lock screen and home screen with photos as well as updates from users’ Facebook contacts. Users can switch between the contents just by swiping and they are also able to “like” an update just by double tapping the screen. Not to forget, users are able to post their comments right through cover feed.
The second major element of the new Facebook Home is called chat heads which as the name implies are all about messaging. Supporting both Facebook messaging as well as standard SMS, this particular feature allow users to chat with their Facebook friends without disturbing their activities in other apps. The chat heads icon itself can be positioned in any area of the screen and can also be removed if users choose to do so. Not to forget, it also supports multiple conversations as well as group chat.
On Facebook Home, notifications are presented in the form of speech bubble-like cards that pop up right on the cover feed rather than through the usual pull down menu. Users can then either tap on them to read the notifications or swipe to hide them.
Last but not least, the Facebook Home also comes with its own app launcher complete with the ability for users to list their favorite apps in a separate screen outside of the main app listing. It also comes with dedicated shortcuts to help users quickly check-in to a location or events as well as to post status updates and photos.
Since the Facebook Home is generally another layer that runs on top of Android, users can still switch to the default interface set that comes with their device. The roll-out of Facebook Home will begin on April 12 starting with United States at first, on several selected smartphones including HTC One, HTC One X+, Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy Note II. Of course, there’s HTC First as well – the first ever smartphone to come pre-loaded with Facebook Home.
The tablet version of Facebook Home is already on the work but is expected to be available only later this year. Click on the Read More link below to check out couple of screenshots as well as videos of the new Facebook Home right after the jump.
Facebook Home’s notifications.
Facebook Home’s main menu.
Facebook Home’s app launcher: favourite apps screen.
Chat heads: messaging on Facebook Home. Blue speech bubble represents Facebook message while green is used for SMS.
Facebook Home’s chat heads supports for multiple conversations…
…as well as group chat.
Users still able to switch to their device’s default Android launch, shall they choose to.
Facebook Home is said to be available for tablets in “several months” time.