Facebook ‘Home’ Announced for Android, Releases Free on Google Play on April 12 (Screenshots, Video)

April 4, 2013

Today, Facebook announced “Home” for the Android platform. As the name implies, Home is a home screen, launcher and lockscreen replacement at its core. Its key features, which include Cover Feed, Chat Heads, Notifications and a custom app launcher, are centered around Facebook’s rich social media elements for those who want to put their friends and family first. Facebook describes Home as a “completely new experience that lets you see the world through people, not apps.”

Home will be available as a free software download on the Google Play store beginning April 12th. Initially, it will be compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Note II, HTC One, HTC One X and HTC One X+ smartphones. It will also be available on select tablets in the coming months. As for hardware, Home will come pre-installed on the upcoming HTC First, which will also be released on April 12th on AT&T at a price-point of $99.99. The HTC First, known previously as the Myst, Opera and Buffy, is essentially the first real Facebook Phone. Learn all about Home’s key features and check out some screenshots after the break.

Note: view specs, images and videos for the HTC First.

Cover Feed
From the moment you wake up your phone you become immersed in cover feed. Cover feed replaces the lock screen and home screen. It’s a window into what’s happening with your friends – friends finishing a bike race, your family sharing a meal or an article about your favorite sports team. These are the beautiful, immersive experiences that you get through Home. You might have missed these updates before, but now they’re a central part of the Home experience. Since Home is both your lock screen and home screen, the content comes right to you. You can flip through to see more stories, and double tap to like what you see. Cover feed is for those in-between moments ­like waiting in line at the grocery store or between classes ­when you want to see what’s going on in your world.

Chat Heads
With chat heads you can keep chatting with friends even when you’re using other apps. When friends send you messages, a chat head appears with your friend’s face, so you see exactly who you’re chatting with. Messages reach you no matter what you’re doing – whether you’re checking email, browsing the web, or listening to music. You can move chat heads around and respond to messages. And since SMS is integrated into Facebook Messenger for Android, chat heads include Facebook messages as well as texts.

Cover feed is great for seeing everything going on in the world. But when something happens that’s more important and directed at you, like a friend posting on your timeline, you’ll receive notifications with their profile pictures. To open notifications, just tap them. And if you don’t want to deal with them right now, you can just swipe to hide them and keep flipping through cover feed until you want them back.

It’s as easy to get to your apps in Home as it is on any other phone. Swipe up to see your favorite apps in the launcher. There’s also a screen containing all of your apps, and you can drag your favorite apps to the launcher.

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