Just can’t get enough of Facebook? Tired of your phone’s stock launcher? Facebook Home could be for you. This is an Android Launcher that places Facebook firmly at the heart of your Android experience meaning that from the moment you turn on your phone – assuming you owned one of the few that are supported by the app – you are immersed in the world of Facebook.
Now your homescreen can be adorned with the latest status updates from your friends and family. There’s also the cover feed which displays a constantly changing slideshow of recently uploaded images. The speed at which the slideshow updates, and the image quality that is used can both be customized as you see fit.
One of the more intriguing aspects of the launcher is Chat Heads, Facebook’s new messaging system. This is an all-in-one messaging system that pull SMS and Facebook messaging into one place. It could be argued that it is a little invasive as the Chat Head icons can dominate the screen, but there is also scope for personalization.
But the big problem with Facebook Home as it stands at the moment is the incredibly small number of devices that are official supported – a tiny handful of HTC and Samsung devices. Sideloading the APK in the usual way is not possible as the app is able to detect that it is being installed on an unsupported device.
Workarounds do exist that involve the use of numerous hacked APKs, but for most people this is going to be off-putting enough to mean that the app is only available to people with one of the lucky handsets. But device support is not the only issue here. At the moment, there are no widgets and no support for folders. This is a launcher that shows interesting signs of promise, but there is a way to go before it is really ready for the mainstream.
And of course there are the advertisements to look forward to. Facebook is all about making money, and this is achieved through advertising. At the moment, Facebook Home is devoid of ads, but this is not going to be the case forever. So even if you are a fan of the app, you’ll have to decide whether you are happy for your Android launcher to be used as an ad-delivery system.