Facebook Home Arriving on Google Play Store on April 12, 2013 But Only For Select Flagship Smartphones

Facebook has finally announced its new 'home on Android' simply called - guess what - Home. It's basically a third party launcher for Google's mobile operating system which focuses on people, supposedly making communication and sharing that much simpler.

Since most of us regularly check our Facebook accounts when we are online, I'm sure many would appreciate having FB as central theme of their smartphone experience. Facebook has done just that by creating a launcher to take control of the rest. And what's nice is that, since it is only a launcher, you don’t need to worry about it being an entire new OS with not enough fresh and compelling features.

How you want your stories from Facebook to be shown in the desktop version will also be applicable to Home on your Android smartphone. It will just deliver the content which it deems you will need most depending on what you want to see on your news feed. Along with this are the standard Android notifications like Weather, SMS, Calls, News and many more into its single and easy to use view feed. Also, what's interesting is that, unlike your regular Android home screen, Facebook Home places people at the center of your experience rather than apps and widgets.

This is called Cover Feed which flips through the top stories coming from Facebook showing them to you via photo slideshow - or something like it. Everything you need is right in front of you without you having to unlock your phone. Now, how cool is that? Does Facebook Home Cover Feed remind you of HTC One's Blinkfeed?

Every bit of Home is suited for our fingers. Swipes are done to flip between stories and you just need to double tap to like them. For the notifications, these appear over your contacts and are easily dismissed with a swipe. The plus side here is that Facebook’s home is configured to appear on a full screen so you’ll definitely enjoy the viewing experience as well as swiping and tapping.

Chat Heads, on the other hand, are little icons that float on top of your screen to let you quickly move in and out of conversations with your friends, no matter where you are in the UI. What’s good about this is that when you are using another application on your phone like the Web Browser, the Chat Heads still remain on top of your screen for easy access. This means  that you won’t have to switch back and forth, from app to app, just to talk to your friends unlike what we experience with Facebook for Android today.

The only downside for Facebook’s home is that it will only be available for devices already on Ice Cream Sandwich and Jellybean so those on Honeycomb, Gingerbread, or even lower won’t get to experience this new launcher made by Facebook for us social media fans. As of the moment, the official list of phones that will support Facebook Home at launch include the HTC One, HTC One X and X+, Samsung Galaxy S3, S4 and Note2 and HTC’s Facebook phone, the HTC First. Facebook Home will be available in  from Google Play Store as a free download on April 12, 2013 so for those who own one of the listed phones above, feel free to post your comments about your experience here once the app is up and running.

Hopefully, Facebook makes Home compatible with all other smartphones - across price categories - running Android 4.0 and above sooner than later. All the phones mentioned above are expensive flagship releases that a lot of young users who are active on Facebook can't even afford. What's up with that?

#TPWriterFellows Batch 1 Member and DLSU student, Nico Aguila is the self-proclaimed 'official' tech support guy of his friends. He's always ready to give you tips and tricks with Android devices and even gives you advice on which phone or tablet you should get whether it be running on Android, iOS, or Windows Phone operating system. Nico sees TechPinas as the best tech website in the Philippines and also as his safe haven when he reads tech news that is happening in the country. When he graduates, Nico plans to find a stable job in tech, have a family when he can, and of course, expose his future kids to technology and TechPinas so that they'll enjoy great bonding times together.

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