Facebook makes moves on the way we use smartphones

8th April 2013

If you want a glimpse into the future of Facebook on smartphones, then the latest offering from the social media giant gives some indication of how the landscape is changing.

Facebook’s new family of apps for the Android phone, is called 'Home' – and the basic aim is to encourage more people to use the social media site on their mobiles.

The essence of these apps is to turn your Android into a 'Facebook phone', and while it will make updating and following your social activity much easier. It'll also provide Facebook with that all-important information about the user, which it will want to use for advertising and marketing.

If you use 'Home' the way Facebook wants you to, then you'll use it to access tasks on your smartphone via Facebook. Think of the way you listen to music (Spotify) or post photos (Instagram), and read news (Guardian Facebook app) – well, this is just the same.

The apps will be available for download (in the US initially) and will come pre-installed on some models (the HTC First – which is available in the US soon) of the phone.

So what's new with Home?

Cover feed
Cover feed replaces the lock screen and home screen on your phone and will display friends’ updates as and when they happen – so you won’t miss any updates by not logging in to your page.

Chat heads
With chat heads you can keep talking even after opening other apps with friends. Messages come throughout as well, no matter what else you’re doing. SMS is integrated into Facebook Messenger for Android, so chat heads include Facebook messages as well as texts.

Notifications
Notifications appear in a similar way to cover feed. Just tap the notification to open it or swipe to reject it.

Apps
Accessing the app included with Home is the same as any smartphone. Just swipe up to see your favourite apps in the launcher. There's also a screen containing all of your apps, and you can drag your favourite apps to the launcher.

Where can I get Home?
Home will be available as a free download from the Google Play Store on 12 April (in the US only at this time). Home works on the HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung GALAXY S III and Samsung GALAXY Note II. Home will also work on the forthcoming HTC One and Samsung GALAXY S4, and on more devices in the coming months.

All the social media networks are hungry for information and data on smartphone users so expect to see other apps that let you to do all the things you already do with your phone – but do it through an app like Facebook Home.

 

To learn more about Home, go to www.facebook.com/home

 
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