Facebook Introduces New 'Home' Screen for Android Devices, Arrives April 12th
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg today introduced a new home screen experience for Android devices. The company is trying to flip the user experience on phones so users will navigate their phone "through people, not apps".
During the question-and-answer session after the event, Zuckerberg said bringing Home to iOS would not be as easy as with Android and would have to happen via the company's existing partnership with Apple. Because Android is 'open', Facebook isn't required to work with Google on the project.
Instead of seeing an app icon or name, Facebook has designed all interactions to focus on individual people rather than keeping emails and text messages from the same friends separate.
Facebook claims users turn on their phone 100 times per day, and, among other things, is redoing the lock screen on the Android phone to give users a slideshow of photos and updates from their Facebook News Feeds.
'Home' includes another new feature called 'chat heads', allowing users to keep their ongoing SMS and Facebook messages on top of every app on the phone for easy access. The company is putting a huge amount of emphasis on 'content' and 'people' rather than 'apps', and, as a result, Facebook has put itself in the middle of everything the user does on their phone.
Engadget is reporting Facebook Home will be available on select Android devices (HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung Galaxy S III and Samsung Galaxy Note II) on April 12th. Interested users can view the livestream at Facebooklive.com. Facebook expects Home to arrive on Android tablets within several months.
Additionally, Facebook is offering a program for carriers and device makers to bundle Facebook Home into devices from the factory. HTC and AT&T are the first companies to sign on, with the 'HTC First' coming out April 12 for $100.