Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced “Home”, a new Android launcher that will turn your Android device into a “social” phone. Home will be available for free download on Google Play Store starting April 12.
According to Zuckerberg, the new Facebook Home launcher for Android focuses on people and not tasks and apps, as most smartphones are built upon. The launcher is designed to make it easier for users to know and see what’s happening with friends and what content they’ve been sharing.
“Home isn’t a phone or operating system, and it’s also more than just an app. Home is a completely new experience that lets you see the world through people, not apps.”
The new Home launcher for Android will work on HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung GALAXY S III and Samsung GALAXY Note II. Additionally, Facebook has announced that it will be made available on HTC One, the Samsung GALAXY S4 as well as new devices in the coming months
The home screen of Home focuses on a feature called Facebook Cover Feed, which replaces the lock screen and of course the home screen. It’s a feed comprised of stores and photos that constantly keeps updating as to see what’s happening with your friends. Home also features a new notifications system that lets you scrub through multiple alerts at once.
Home will be available for download on April 12th in the US, however, international users will have to wait a little longer. Also, the launcher will be available to users of Android Jelly Bean and Ice Cream Sandwich, but not Gingerbread.
A notable feature is the Facebook Chat Heads, with which you can chat with friends. For instance, when a friend messages you, it pops up that friend’s face and you can tap on the face to continue the conversation even when you’re using other apps.
Facebook has created the Facebook Home Program to allow handset makers to optimize the Home experience. Partners include AT&T, Orange, Qualcomm, HTC, Samsung, Huawei, Sony, EE, ZTE, Lenovo, and Alcatel.
In the same event, Facebook also announced the new HTC First smartphone, which will be the first device that is optimized for Facebook Home. Click here for more details on the features and specifications.
Here’s the official commercial video uploaded on YouTube: