Before we get to judging Facebook’s new Home app that essentially takes over your Android device’s homescreen with Facebook goodies (and thanks to some developers, for better or for worse, it’s available on most Android devices instead of the select few available at the app’s launch), it’s probably best we walk you through the app it self and show you what it can (and can’t) do.
- Replaces your background with a stream of large photos from your Facebook friends status updates.
- Easy to like things on Facebook by double tapping an update.
- Easy to comment on Facebook updates by tapping the comment button on the photo.
- Floating heads from the new messenger app make it quick to respond to people’s texts and Facebook messages.
- Slight satisfaction at trashing someone’s face after they send you a text you didn’t appreciate.
- Isn’t a full blown customization like most manufacturers add to their devices. Can be easily uninstalled and since it’s a self contained app, Android updates are less likely to require extra coding in the app which means you can update Android on your device without having to wait for the Facebook team to update their app.
- Can’t control how often it updates the statuses and photos for your background.
- Chat heads only works for text messaging (email, and other services would be a nice addition) so you have to go searching for your mail/chat app.
- All of your texts now run through Facebook (and let’s face it, they aren’t the best with handling our personal info).
- Texting, Facebook Messaging, and Statuses are the only things easily accessible. Everything else is now a bit further away than normal.
- App drawer doesn’t support widgets/folders/is super basic.
- No ability to join SMS contacts with Facebook contacts (this results in floating heads being more like floating SMS icons).
- Facebook Messenger and SMS within Facebook messenger require different conversation threads. This results in your accidentally Facebook messaging someone when you meant to text them which, in turn, results in your friends not meeting you where you told them to because they don’t check their Facebook messages).
- Makes your friends think your extra-stalky since you find yourself liking, and commenting on updates more often based on the fact that they are IN YOUR FACE CONSTANTLY.
All in all, it needs some work but isn’t a bad starting point for Facebook. There are still plenty of things to fix as you can tell by the cons section above, but for a first release not bad. The thing that impresses me the most though, is that they made this a self contained launched app (plus other apps) instead of making this some custom framework that’s welded into the Android OS. Way easier to update your device, way less of a commitment for people that want to test it out, Facebook can put it on a lot more devices, and it’s easier to uninstall. Speaking of which, now that this walkthrough is done…
This post is part of TheUnlockr.com’s blog. To check out more of the blog posts from David (and to chat with David or voice your own opinion, post in the comments on any of the posts in this category.