Thursday, 4 April 2013

Facebook Home

As the day closed in England on a sunny Thursday evening, Facebook in America was just waking up and announcing their new operating system which has been rumoured since last May.

Like all good technology conferences, it started with a short video about why Facebook is so good and then creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg took the audience through some statistics about Facebook and how it is by far the most popular thing people do on their Smartphone (apparently anyway).

Zuckerberg then started talking about the thing everyone wanted to hear about - The Facebook Phone. He started off by talking about the new Facebook OS they are launching called 'Facebook Home' which is compatible with most of the latest Android handsets. You just download the new Facebook App from the Google Play store and it takes over your Android device completely. Facebook has even promised that they will release new updates to the operating system every month, each time adding more features and making it more compatible.
The smartphones that will work with the new Facebook Home Software (Android tablets coming soon)
As soon as you turn your new Android Facebook Phone on you are greeted by something called 'Cover Feed'. Cover Feed is an automatic stream from your Facebook News Feed which acts as your lock screen. It looks great and it even allows you to comment and like a photo/status without unlocking the phone.

A 'Chat Head' on top of an app
'Chat Heads' is a new icon on your screen which is actually Facebook Messenger; it almost never goes away from your screen however it allows you to message people via Facebook or SMS without leaving the app you are in. To get the conversation to disappear you simply click on their profile picture and their Chat Head stays on your screen so you can continue talking at any time.
Luckily you can move it around and out of your way if you don't need it however I know lots of people who would constantly use this new useful gimmick.

Facebook Home launches on April 12th and it will come pre-installed on a number of new HTC devices.
The much anticipated and recently rumoured 'HTC First' is the first phone to come running Facebook Home. It comes in a verity of colours (white, black, blue and red) and apart from that, the hardware is pretty standard.
The HTC First is currently exclusive to AT&T however over the next couple of months it will also come to Orange and EE.

In conclusion, the Facebook Phone only brings 2 major new features, the lock screen with the latest status updates and Facebook Messenger on top of whatever app you are in. It is good however not great and I would wait until more updates come before downloading it for your Android phone. Also, if you don't have many friends on Facebook or if they don't post regular status' it is pretty pointless anyway and you should just stick to the current Facebook app.