For your Android Phone – Here is everything you need to know
In our last fortnightly Frank Jam eNewsletter, we told you all about how the details of Facebook Home for Android was leaked, oops! Now, if you missed this, I highly recommend you sign up to our Frank Jam so that you can read all our blog highlights as well as up to date social media weekly news. Continuing on from this leak, the details of Facebook’s Home were last week officially released.
On the 4th of April 2013, Facebook unveiled its long awaited ‘Facebook Phone’…well sort of. The expected Facebook Phone turned out to be nothing more than a software that hijacks the everyday Android smartphone and turns it into an always-connected Facebook device. So pictures and messages from your friends are front and center of your phone. They called it Facebook Home and although it wasn’t quite the physical handset manufactured by Facebook that people expected to see, it still got many excited.
Facebook released an ad to give people a better idea of Facebook Home
Just in case that video taught you nothing, I’ve done some research for you to help you better understand Facebook Home
What can you expect to see?
Now, whilst Facebook Home isn’t an Android replacement, you can expect to see some changes in the overall look and feel compared to your current Android phone. It has been described as being incredibly visual compared to other Android’s.
When you turn on your phone (that has Facebook Home installed of course) you can expect to be greeted by a Cover Feed, which will be what you see are you default screen (so when the phone is on, the lock screen and the home screen) instead of seeing a set of apps.
Cover feed is basically your News Feed and puts the focus on what your friends are currently sharing. This includes photos, status updates and links and more.You can flip through stories on the screen and double tap a story to like it (as show in the above video). The idea behind Cover feed is to help surface the important updates from the people in your life , updates that might otherwise have missed.
You will receive notifications on your home screen about calls, messages, events, Facebook updates and other apps. You can choose to move notifications away until you want to access them later or you can flick them away from view. Profile pictures and app icons make it easy to see what’s what.
Now read the fine print: All notifications are available on the HTC First, so all notifications for apps on your home screen will come through Facebook Home. For users that download Home for their existing Android device, only Facebook notifications will show up.
A big feature Facebook is raving about is the new messaging component called Chat Heads. Chat heads are persistent messages (all avatar based) that can appear on top of other apps.
This means if you get a text message while reading an article on the web or listening to music, you can respond to that message in a pop-up, without having to navigate to the messages app. Also icons for chats can be moved around the screen for fast access to conversations that are ongoing. Chat heads works with both SMS and Facebook Messenger messages.
What happens to your other non-Facebook related apps?
Whilst commonly used mobile apps like Gmail, GoogleMaps and Twitter are still available on phones with Facebook Home you’ll have to work harder to get to them. Not surprisingly, Facebook wants to focus less on other apps and more about making Facebook the center of your phone, Facebook Home will still have an app launcher.
Swiping up on your Facebook profile photo will open up the app launcher. In addition to having a full drawer of all your apps, you can also customise your favorite apps into their own areas and pages.
How do you get it and what Phone do you need?
Already have an Android? Great, well you can download Home for free but you’ll need to wait. Facebook Home will be available on April 12 via download from Google Play. Facebook Home will work on the HTC One, the HTC One X, the Samsung Galaxy S III, the Samsung Galaxy Note II and the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S4 but that’s just for now. More phones will gain support to Facebook Home in the future.
You can also get Facebook Home on the new HTC First , which so far is exclusive in the United States
To find out more about Facebook Home click here.
Protecting your Privacy:
And the all favorite question Facebook receives, what does this new feature mean for my privacy? Well one thing is Facebook Home will not allow Facebook to see check-ins on other services and there will not actively track a user’s location via GPS. Also Facebook Home will not feature ads (just yet) but let’s face it, Facebook Home opens up a whole new world for mobile advertising.
In a Q&A released Friday evening, Facebook tried to reassure critics that privacy concerns on Facebook Home are nothing to be worried about. The company said, “Home doesn’t change anything related to your privacy settings on Facebook and your privacy controls will work the same with Home as they do everywhere else on Facebook,”.
Facebook Home makes this the third big announcement we have seen from Facebook recently, hot on the heels of Graph Search and changes to Newsfeed. But Facebook Home has the potential to be the biggest game changer yet as Smartphones and social networks are becoming increasingly synonymous . But with Facebook users numbers going down is Facebook Home something the people want?
So what do you think of the new Facebook Home for Androids? Does this sound like something you would want on your phone or do you prefer being able to access Facebook through the app? Does it sound a bit over the top or is it innovative?