Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is live on stage in Menlo Park, Calif., and he just unveiled his company’s new home on Android: called “Home”.
Facebook clarified that it’s not building a phone directly, nor is it building an operating system, instead the company unveiled “Home”. Home is for Android devices, and it is literally the home screen and “soul of your phone,” as Zuckerberg explained. Home is also “family of apps.”
9to5Google posted the first look at “Home” yesterday, but Facebook just gave a quick run down as to what the interface can really do. For instance: Cover feed, a window that replaces the lock screen and home screen, allows users to navigate by flipping through, double tapping, etc.
Users can double-tap to “Like” a post and comment right from the home screen, and they can tap their own face and swipe to get to apps. Users can also swipe up to see their favorite apps in the launcher. There’s even a screen containing all apps, so they can drag their favorite apps to the launcher. Meanwhile, notifications come from people and not apps. Each notification has a person’s face, and users can collect all notifications in a stack and either swipe or save them.
Facebook also announced a new messaging service called “Chat heads” that works with both Facebook messages and SMS. A chat head appears with in the upper right, where users can tap on them, move them, or stack them. Tapping will bring up messages.
Facebook will launch Home via Google Play on April 12, with download availability coming for tablets in a few months. Facebook will maintain Home “just like the regular Facebook app,” and it promises to issue updates at least once a month with new features.
Only a few devices are ready for launch, including: the HTC One X, One X+, Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, and eventually the HTC One and the Galaxy S4. There’s even a “Facebook Home Program” for phone manufacturers, and HTC, AT&T, Samsung, Sony, etc., have all signed up.
Zuckerberg just handed the stage over to HTC executives to unveil the first device that will officially run the platform— the HTC First. More details on Home are in the press release and videos below.