Facebook unveils Facebook Home for Android, new Facebook-devoted HTC First

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
At a Menlo Park media event on Thursday, Facebook revealed the newest iteration of its mobile app for Android, Facebook Home, which company CEO Mark Zuckerberg says signals a shift in the way that people will interact with their computing devices.

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Facebook's new offering is a launcher, a program that can replace the standard interface on an Android phone, tweaking the look and function of the device to specific settings. In the case of Facebook home, the launcher reorients the device away from an app-centric interface and centers it around a user's contacts. Introducing Home, Zuckerberg said that reorientation was the main goal in its design.

Among smartphone apps, Facebook stands far above the crowd, taking up 25 percent of its users' smartphone use time, according to comScore figures Zuckerberg displayed during the event. That focus on social ? adding in Facebook-owned Instagram pushes the figure past 25 percent ? means that the focus of mobile devices should change.

"What would it feel like," Zuckerberg asked, "if our phones were designed around people instead of apps?"

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Facebook Home's primary interface changes are to the lock screen, home screen, and messaging features. The lock screen will give users a continuous feed of their friends' status updates, with their Facebook cover photos as a background. Users can swipe between updates as they wish, and they can like photos or updates by double-tapping on them.Facebook Home's primary interface changes are to the lock screen, home screen, and messaging features.

Accessing a user's library of apps is accomplished by swiping from the lock button to the apps icon. This brings up a redesigned app tray, displaying available apps, but also along the top giving users the option to post a status update or take a picture to post to Facebook.

The messaging feature pulls in messages from both text messages and Facebook. Its main feature is called ChatHeads, and it functions by popping up persistent messaging icons for incoming messages. Those icons display the profile or stored picture of whoever sent the message. The icons remain visible even when a user switches between apps, and clicking on them pops up a messaging interface. Using gestures, users can reorganize or remove icons and chats.

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The new launcher will debut in the Google Play Store on April 12, and users of the most up-to-date Facebook Android app will see the option to try out Facebook Home pop up in their Facebook apps on that date as well. Facebook will, as with its other products, be updating Home on a monthly basis or faster.

Initial compatibility for Home will be limited to six devices, including HTC's One and One X, as well as Samsung's Galaxy S III, Galaxy S4, and Galaxy Note II. The sixth handset was the event's other announcement, the HTC First.

Images of the First leaked in the days before the event, and Zuckerberg brought both HTC CEO Peter Chou and AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega on stage in order to discuss the new handset.

The First is billed as the phone built to optimize the Facebook home experience, though neither CEO went into much detail regarding which specifications made the device "optimized." A subsequent press release for the First notes that the device has Facebook Home preinstalled, with Instagram pre-loaded. It has a 4.3-inch display and runs Android 4.1 on a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, with the ability to connect to AT&T's 3G and 4G networks. The new HTC handset will be available on April 12 for $100, exclusively on AT&T, though Zuckerberg mentioned European carriers EE and Orange as future partners to stock the phone.

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Zuckerberg said that the Facebook home experience would be appearing on a number of devices from multiple manufacturers and featured on multiple carriers. Among those named off in the event were Samsung, Sony, ZTE, Lenovo, Alcatel, and Huawei.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    Nope.
  • Reply 2 of 57
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,163member


    Facebook is going to annihilate Samsung in the next few years.

  • Reply 3 of 57
    irelandireland Posts: 17,008member


    No photos included in this article?


     


    I also can't believe you'd write this article without mentioning Mike Matas?

  • Reply 4 of 57


    This 'announcement' just reinvents the 'people centric' phone that Microsoft already did with Windows Phone 7/8. And arguably that's nicer. And still it's bombed in the market place.



    People like a proper landing page / home screen. This Facebook wrapper just makes the user of the phone 'homeless' and obfuscates all the apps that people will want to use. You'd be permanently lost inside whatever version of Facebook they've decided to throw at us this month. For people who like walking around with a blindfold on, perhaps this will be enjoyable. For the rest of us, no thanks.


     


    That, and the threat of taking one's phone out of one's pocket to be presented with someone else's advertising on the 'home' screen. If I want a billboard in my pocket, I'm damn well getting paid for it, not using up my data allowance having it pumped at me.

  • Reply 5 of 57
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member


    I don't like Facebook, and I have little faith in their future, but I do regret not buying a few shares today, and then quickly dumping them, just to make a quick buck.

  • Reply 6 of 57
    sector7gsector7g Posts: 153member
    Great another skin to put on top of the terrible skin that came with your android when you brought it
  • Reply 7 of 57
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member

    Quote:






    htc


    I wonder there is no phone with Facebook color - blue?


     


  • Reply 8 of 57
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Ah, so Facebook has the power to "signal a shift," do they?

    Nice try.

    And, seriously, it's called the "[B]First[/B]"? As in the obnoxious social media "competition" enjoyed by 10-year olds during the first week of having their own computer in their room? Marketing genius.
  • Reply 9 of 57
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member


    I dont say it is really bad. But, Facebook power users it is good.  "Designed around people not apps."  THis line sounds interesting but in reality... dont know.

  • Reply 10 of 57
    Facebook's new offering is a launcher, a program that can replace the standard interface on an Android phone, tweaking the look and function of the device to specific settings. In the case of Facebook home, the launcher reorients the device away from an app-centric interface and centers it around a user's contacts. Introducing Home, Zuckerberg said that reorientation was the main goal in its design.

    Lol. This is exactly the "type" of idea I was suggestion apple do for a iOS overhaul.

    The idea that you have one OS installed and can launch a newer tweaked version is what I'm talking about.

    Screw Facebook.

    Here's what I want my iPhone experience to be like

    1) I want to buy my next iPhone with the original iOS preinstalled.

    2) After I power it on and go through the initial iCloud set up and phone activation, there is a screen that explains that you can choose between the original iOS experience or an enhanced version.

    3) After you selected desired experience you can use your phone.

    This feature would allow people who are familiar with what's been already established while adding the ability to slowly get familiar with a newerversion.

    Of course having the ability to switch back and forth through the settings would be nice without having to reset the phone.

    I know this wouldn't be easy for apple but I believe it's possible.
  • Reply 11 of 57
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,405member
    Does the Facebook interface appear on an iPhone in these pictures, or do my eyes deceive me?
  • Reply 12 of 57
    I think Apple insider are secretly android fans. All these detailed android related editorials. It's fine you can admit it, Android is awesome.
  • Reply 13 of 57
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mrrodriguez View Post



    It's fine you can admit it, Android is awesome.


     


    Android is the worst lag ridden crap that is out there. People who don't have high expectations gravitate towards it. 


     


    I use a lot of music apps on iOS, and that is something that just can not be done on Android, due to the massive, amateurish lag.


     


    I'd rather use a $10 feature phone than be forced to use an Android phone. 

  • Reply 14 of 57
    How is Facebook going to make money with this?
  • Reply 15 of 57
    allenbfallenbf Posts: 993member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by curveddesign.com View Post



    How is Facebook going to make money with this?


     


    Data, data, and more data. & ads.


     


    Essentially they're eating right off of Google's plate.

  • Reply 16 of 57
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,795member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


     


    Android is the worst lag ridden crap that is out there. People who don't have high expectations gravitate towards it. 


     


    I use a lot of music apps on iOS, and that is something that just can not be done on Android, due to the massive, amateurish lag.


     


    I'd rather use a $10 feature phone than be forced to use an Android phone. 



    Correct me if I am wrong and may be confusing you with another poster, but were you the one that said you have never used an Android phone? It is fine to hate it for valid reasons after at least using it enough to be familiar with the platform. But your assertion that you use a lot of music apps which can't be done on Android due to lag is really silly and just flat out wrong. Your complaint about lag might have some validity to much older phones from a years back with much slower CPU's and older versions of Android, but you will not find any lag on new phones like the HTC One for example running Jellybean or any other newer Android flagship type phones released within the last year that compete with the iPhone. 

  • Reply 17 of 57
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,018member


    So the rumor went from Facebook making their own phone base on a version of Android, to a skin over Android with just the facing of people you spend to much time worrying about when was the last time they went and took a dump. Wow they is really exciting new.


     


    Oh almost forgot, it is $100 so I wonder how much Facebook is subsidising of the phone. A new business mode has arise here, HTC make the hardware, facebook put their ad and people tracking software and AT&T gives the phone away for $100 and Facebook is probably splitting the costs with AT&T to give it away.

  • Reply 18 of 57
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gwmac View Post


    Correct me if I am wrong and may be confusing you with another poster, but were you the one that said you have never used an Android phone? It is fine to hate it for valid reasons after at least using it enough to be familiar with the platform. But your assertion that you use a lot of music apps which can't be done on Android due to lag is really silly and just flat out wrong. Your complaint about lag might have some validity to much older phones from a years back with much slower CPU's and older versions of Android, but you will not find any lag on new phones like the HTC One for example running Jellybean or any other newer Android flagship type phones released within the last year that compete with the iPhone. 



    No, it's not wrong.


     


    If there's one thing that I know and follow, it's music apps.


     


    It doesn't matter if you go out and buy the newest, most expensive, flagship Android phone today. There is still massive lag, when it comes to music apps. I follow music forums, and I read what developers and users write. I am specifically referring to audio lag. It doesn't matter if somebody releases an 8 core phone tomorrow, the problem is Android. And no, the problem has still not been fixed to this day.


     


    And if you wish to get technical, if somebody gave me a phone and I was using a music app and there was a lag of let's say 100ms, from me pressing a key, until I heard any sound, I would immediately throw the phone against the wall, as that would be totally unusable and just flat out unacceptable.

  • Reply 19 of 57
    macologistmacologist Posts: 264member


    Like I've been saying for a long time - SUPPORT!!! 


     


    Apple has Toll Free AppleCare a phone call away! 


    Apple Stores, where one can get Help in Person! 


     


    Facebook and Android are Do It Yourself, a Hear-say Abyss, of Catch Me If You Can Old Wives Tales, where anyone on some Forum can offer any advise, which is a Risky Try It At Your Own Risk concept! Or one can seek Help from the clerks at the Carriers' Stores, or Resellers Store, where some Temp Worker might know something… To me that is a Zero Accountability Mess, that offsets any savings of a Cheaper Hardware, and not paying for AppleCare! Add Android Viruses, and Privacy Issues, add Facebook issues! Besides, who has time to hang out on Facebook all the time? 


     


    vs. 


     


    Apple has Toll Free AppleCare a phone call away, with Case Numbers, with Detailed Notes for a Followup!


    Apple Stores, where one can get Help in Person!  


     


    • Apple must drill that SUPPORT Theme into Public's Mind 24/7/365!!!  


    • Apple's SUPPORT is a Huge Selling Point!

  • Reply 20 of 57
    marokeromarokero Posts: 99member


    I don't want to give FB any more ways to track me or my activities. I'm glad there are no plans to bring this to iOS.

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