If you own a smartphone, there’s a good chance you have the Facebook application on there. There’s also a good chance that a significant portion of your interaction on Facebook is done through that app. After Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg’s announcement today, that type of interaction with your smartphone and Facebook is about to change. And if you’re a big Android fan, you should be excited.
Facebook Home is a new way to integrate the social network on Android devices, which will aim to put people first instead of apps, Zuckerberg said. Updates from Facebook will show up right on the home screen of the phone, thanks to a feature called Cover Feed. Content from the social network will take up the full screen and users will be able to sift through updates by swiping.
The phone will also feature a new way to manage conversations with friends. Anyone you’re chatting with on Facebook Messenger or SMS text message will appear as a pop-up head with their photo in the margin of the screen.
Facebook Home will not dominate the phone completely. Apps will still be available and can be accessed by a launcher that appears by swiping up from the bottom of the phone screen.
Facebook Home will be available starting on April 12. Current Android users with the latest version of the Facebook app will soon see a link to download Facebook Home, which will download as a separate app.
Facebook Home will only be available on specific phones initially, with a tablet version available later on. The HTC One and One X, the Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy S 4 and Note II will be the first compatible phones, according to Zuckerberg.
Not so coincidentally, the HTC First was also unveiled with Facebook Home pre-loaded. AT&T will release the HTC First and will serve as a launch partner for Home. The new HTC phone will be available April 12 — the same day Home launches — for $99.99, with a two-year contract.
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