Facebook updates Messenger for Android with Facebook Home’s ‘Chat Heads’ feature

Chat-heads-Facebook-MessengerWhen Facebook unveiled its new Facebook Home Android experience set to roll out on number of devices today via Google Play, one of the most talked about features was “Chat heads”. The feature allows users to quickly access Facebook messages and SMS through circular profile pictures that users can access from anywhere in the OS and organize freely on the screen.  Today, seemingly as part of its official roll out of Home, Facebook has updated its Messenger app for Android bringing a small piece of Home functionality to all Android users.

The updated version of Facebook Messenger implements the new Chat Heads feature, allowing you to see a small round icon with the face of the person you’re talking to hovering on the display even when you exit the app. When engaged in a conversation in Messenger, exiting the app will automatically create a chat head floating on top no matter where you navigate, allowing you to quickly jump back into the conversation. The chat heads can be arranged freely and dismissed at any time by dragging them off the bottom of the screen.

On top of rolling out the first device to come with Facebook Home stock– the HTC First– Facebook Home will also initially be supporting the HTC One X, One X+, Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, and eventually the HTC One and the Galaxy S4. Read more

Facebook unveils ‘Home’ for Android phones (Photos)

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.

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HTC One X+ Review: Great hardware gets better, Sense overlay dulls Jelly Bean

one x+

HTC looked to make a mark on the world with the arrival of the HTC One X in the spring. The device provided a new look into Android devices that veered away from its previous bulkier and heavier line of otherwise solid products. The One X was arguably one of the best, most designed Android devices we saw out of 2012’s Mobile World Conference, but it didn’t fare well against the Samsung Galaxy S3 line once the two went head-to-head.

Maybe that is why we were a little surprised with the announcement of the HTC One X+ in early October. Everything looked to be the same on the outside, but the internals packed some serious upgrades. The HTC One X+ went on sale at AT&T yesterday for $199 and Amazon for $139. We have spent the better part of a month testing the One X+ to answer the simple question: Is this your next handset? First, let’s get started with the overall design.

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HTC One X could launch as early as this week on AT&T

The HTC One X announced at MWC this year and struck reviewers as one of the best handsets out there. According to a new report this afternoon, the HTC One X is launching on AT&T within a week, with official details of the launch announced as early as tomorrow. BGR’s John Geller, who has had reliable sources in the past, said the dual-core smartphone out of Taiwan could launch less than a week after its announcement. The European version of the One X features a quad-core processor; however, the AT&T version features a dual-core processor to accommodate the LTE bands. This device looks seriously awesome: Ice Cream Sandwich, Beats audio, and HTC Sense 4.0. Yes, please.  Read more