I’ve had the HTC First for almost two weeks, and I’ve formed some pretty solid opinions on Facebook Home as it runs on the HTC First. When I initially heard about Facebook home, I thought to myself that I would never use a launcher like that. At the time, I didn’t even have a Facebook app on my personal device, why would I want a launcher? Now that I’ve used it, my opinions haven’t changed, but it has gained some respect from me. Facebook Home is not and will likely never be the way I want to interact with my device, but it’s definitely pretty if you have some friends that are good photographers and like to be updated about your acquaintance’s happenings quickly.
When I first got the HTC First, I basically showed it to everyone I was around. I was genuinely curious about how people would perceive this so called “Facebook Phone.” Most people had the same reaction I did when first handling the device which was “Wow, I really like the device itself, but Facebook Home doesn’t really interest me.” The only people that thought they would enjoy it were my brother and his girlfriend who are Seniors in high school. I even thought my mom would enjoy Facebook Home due to the off-chance that she might unlock her device and see a picture of a grand kid panning across her display, but she wasn’t into it either.
That being said, I’m sure there are those of you out there that like their Facebook Home. The only difference I’m aware of between what you’ll get with the app available in the Play Store and what you’ll find on the HTC First are phone notifications. Instead of only Facebook updates on your Cover Feed, you’ll get your standard notifications that you would normally see only in your notification drawer. These notifications you can swipe away the same way you can with notifications in the drawer if you don’t need them anymore.
So, I want to give you my thoughts on the positives and negatives of Facebook Home specifically on the HTC First:
- The cover feed looks brilliant on the HTC First. I absolutely love HTC displays. The hardware setup kind of reminds me of the HTC One X, and a well taken picture looks great panning across that 4.3″ 720p display.
- I did enjoy using the cover feed. I don’t have any giant gripes with Facebook, I just find it too distracting, and Facebook Home did not help with that. But if you’re someone who likes to know what everyone is doing right when you unlock your device, it’s fun to use the cover feed.
- I felt like Facebook home made the ability to use my phone as a tool more complicated. With Facebook Home, you lose your dock, so your phone app isn’t always in the same place unless you put the phone app in the same place on every “homescreen” page. It’s just a bit clunky.
- No widgets. If you like to use widgets, you will miss them.
- No wallpapers. You’ve basically given up the ability to customize your device when Facebook Home is in use.
- Security is screwy with Facebook Home. Check out my video below and you’ll see what I mean. If you’re worried about your friends screwing with your Facebook, don’t buy the HTC First.
So there are things to like and not to like about Facebook Home. To me, coming from a typical Android experience, it was counter intuitive to use at first. I feels awkward to close an app and end up on your lock screen, which is essentially how I think of the Facebook Home-cover feed interface. To me, it feels like Facebook home does away with homescreens. It’s your lock screen cover feed and your app drawer essentially. If you’re curious about how you would like Facebook Home, there are ways to get it running on your android device now, even if it’s not rooted. Just keep in mind, I doubt it’ll look as good as it does on the HTC First.
Check out the video below with my run through of Facebook Home on the First and it’s Facebook security issues. Let us know your thoughts on it. Do you have the HTC First? Do you run Facebook Home on it? Or have you gone stock? Also, you still have a chance to let me know if you want me to look into something specific for the full review. Leave a comment and let me know!