Facebook Announces Home, An Android Homescreen Replacement Designed Around People, Not Apps
Facebook has announced a family of apps you can install called Facebook Home, featuring full screen photos, status updates, and notifications integrated into your homescreen. It doesn’t require a forked Android OS, as Facebook wants it to be available to a wide audience. “We want to bring the experience of having a home, of having everything you need right around you… to your phone.”
The home screen experience is focused on Cover Feed, which shows a constant feed of stories and photos you can just sit back and watch.
Apps are important too, Zuckerberg says, so you can still add apps to the device. One swipe from the homescreen is an app launcher. Messaging is front and center. Phones are communication devices, and we spend all day messaging. In today’s appcentric world, messaging is treated like another app. Switching between apps is annoying. We want to talk to people, not apps.
When a friend messages you, Home brings up the new Facebook Chat Heads feature. It displays a person’s face and you can tap on their face and bring up a conversations without losing any context of what you’re doing in the app behind.
“Today we’re going to finally talk about that Facebook Phone, More accurately, we’re gonna talk about how you can turn your phone into a Facebook Phone,” Zuckerberg said to start the app. After noting that we spend 20% of our mobile time on social apps, he said “We asked ourselves — if we’re already spending this much time on our phones, how can we make it easier? What if they were designed around people first, and you could also just happen to interact with apps?”