Facebook has finally announced their new Facebook home, which is not an app or a skin. It’s an integrated launcher and lockscreen combo, but it’s also more than that. For all you Facebook users, it’ll integrate with all your contacts, Facebook messages, and even SMS. Everything is focused on social media and content, with features like natural gestures to perform simple tasks.
Cover feed is basically a lockscreen. Your profile image is at the bottom, with the background constantly changing between updates in your news feed. It’ll also show comments and a few buttons. You can like and comment straight from there, and when you’re done with a window, you just slide it back down. You can also scroll through images in the background.
These are the notifications. These notifications can be swiped away, opened without leaving the screen you were on, or just thrown to the bottom to ignore them until later. You can also press and hold to take all of them and slide them away.
Touching your profile photo will pop up three options. The top option is apps, which will slide up a minimalist grid of your favorite apps. You can add more apps to the favorites, and at the top, you get options to post to Facebook. It’s a nice UI, actually.
Chat heads hover over your screen whatever you’re doing. It’s a messaging system that supports both Facebook messages and text messages. Tapping it opens all of your conversation, and the color of the bubbles will show whether it’s a message or a text. It’s a pretty innovative quick messaging system that doesn’t get in the way. Closing them will leave nothing but a small bubble on your screen with a face and a counter for the amount of unread messages. They can also be moved around.
This launcher will be available straight from the Play Store for some specific Android phones. They’re starting with only a few supported models, but luckily they’re the popular ones. There will also be a tablet version, but it isn’t quite finished. It’ll be out within a few months though, so you won’t have to wait long. The phone version will be available in about a week, and we’ll inform you when it comes!
Update: The official list of supported device is absolutely tiny, but the top few models are in here. Facebook Home will support the Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy S 4, Galaxy Note II, HTC One, HTC One X, and HTC One X+ at launch. Looks like Nexus 4 owners are left out of the fun (if you can call it that). More devices will be supported as time goes on, with updates said to be released every month.
If you’re interested in a video demonstration of how Facebook Home works, Facebook put up a video about it. AT&T has also provided three short videos, but they’re not very good. Maybe you’ll find them interesting.