Facebook “Home” Arriving On April 12th Starting With The HTC First
Today Facebook announced a new family of applications that can be installed called Facebook Home. The Facebook Home family of apps includes full screen photos, status updates, and notifications that can be connected to the home screen. Facebook Home will be launching officially on April 12th and will be available as a download for Android Jelly Bean and Android Ice Cream Sandwich users. Android Gingerbread users are out of luck. It will be available internationally in the coming months.
You will be able to download Home if you have the most recent Facebook app and Messenger App on your Android phone. You will notice a banner alert to download Home from the Google Play store. After downloading Home, you will have the option to “try once.” If you like it enough to switch permanently, then you can hit “always.”
Facebook is completely committed to Facebook Home. The company will update Facebook Home every month by adding new features and make it accessible to more devices such as tablets.
The home screen on Facebook Home has a Cover Feed, which will show a constant feed of posts and photos from your friends in real-time. Home utilizes a new notifications system to go through multiple alerts at once.
To switch to your other apps, you just need to swipe from the Home screen. When a friend messages you, Home will bring up the Facebook Chat Heads feature. This will show a person’s face and when you tap on it, the conversation will be brought up without losing what you were doing on the phone before that. This feature is called “Chat Heads.”
“Today we’re going to finally talk about that Facebook Phone, More accurately, we’re going to talk about how you can turn your phone into a Facebook Phone” stated Mark Zuckerberg at the beginning of the event. Zuckerberg pointed out that we spend over 20% of our time using social apps on mobile devices.
Facebook launched the Facebook Home Program to make it easier for their partners to integrate Facebook Home into their handsets. Some of their partners include AT&T, Orange, Qualcomm, HTC, Samsung, Huawei, Sony, EE, ZTE, Alcatel, and Lenovo.
Facebook closely partnered with HTC directly to have Facebook Home pre-installed on the HTC First phone (pictured below) for AT&T. The HTC First is not the first device that Facebook and HTC worked on together. Two years ago, Facebook and HTC partnered to have the social network seamlessly integrated into the HTC ChaCha, HTC Status, and HTC Salsa. The HTC First will have deeper integration for system notifications than the version of Facebook Home that is available for download. It will also come pre-loaded with Instagram. The First will be available in red, light blue, white, and black. The screen is a 4.3-inch display with a 1280 x 720 Super LCD display.
The First will have a rectangle shape, three capacitive buttons, and rear-and-front cameras. The processor will be powered with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.4GHz and with 1GB of RAM. There will be 16GB of internal storage and a 2,000mAh battery. The rear camera will be 5-megapixels with f/2.0, 28mm lens, and the front camera has a 1.6 megapixel sensor. The First runs on AT&T’s 4G LTE network and will retail for $99.99 with pre-orders starting today.
Internationally, the HTC First will be available on Orange and EE in Europe, but the release date is not yet known.
This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at +AmitChowdhry