Everything you need to know about Facebook Home and the HTC First
Facebook has announced the Facebook Home app and the HTC First is the 'Facebook Phone'. So, here's everything you need to know about to two. See also: How to get Facebook Home on your Android smartphone. Updated on 17/04/13.
Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook's 'new home on Android' which is called, well, Facebook Home. It's not a regular app and it's not a Facebook operating system. It's an app like we've not seen before with the ability to take over most of your smartphone, if you give it permission to. See also: Facebook phone leaked again with software shown in detail.
As expected, the HTC First is the Facebook Phone and has been specifically designed for Facebook Home. It will be the first smartphone to come with it pre-loaded but Facebook Home will also hit the Google Play Store for other users. Take a look at 31% of people want a Facebook Phone: 56% do not.
The whole situation sounds confusing and it is really. We've put this FAQ article together to answer all the questions you might have about Facebook Home and the HTC First.
Facebook Home: What is it?
Facebook is calling Home a 'whole new experience for your phone'. It's a new version of the Facebook app for Android which takes over your homescreen and other areas of the operating system.
Facebook Home: Is it an operating system?
No. Facebook describes Home as a "family of apps". We would describe it as a cross between an app and an Android overlay.
Facebook Home: Cover Feed
Cover Feed is the Facebook Home replacement for the regular Android homescreen and lockscreen. It shows you updates from Facebook like the news feed you see normally.
Facebook Home: Chat Heads
Chat Heads is the name for messaging in Facebook Home essentially. It combines Facebook Messenger with regular text messages. Each time you're messages a Chat Head will appear on top of the app your using with a photo of that person. It can be moved around the screen where you like. You can then reply and carry on using your app, leaving the Chat Head(s) in view, or close it by dragging it down like apps in Windows 8.
Facebook Home: Notifications
When on the Cover Feed screen, you'll get notifications such as someone posting to your timeline. Like Chat heads, these will be accompanied by a profile picture of the person in question. Like regular Android notifications, you can tap to open them or swipe to hide them.
Facebook Home: Apps
Since Facebook Home replaces the homescreen and locksreen, you must swipe up from cover feed to access your favourite apps in the launcher. There's also an app menu showing all installed apps. As you can see, there is quick access to Facebook status, photos and check-in from here.
Facebook Home: When can I get it?
Facebook Home will be on the Google Play Store to download on 12 April. It will also come pre-loaded on the HTC First, see details below.
Facebook Home: Where is it available?
The app will initially be available for download in the US with other countries to follow "shortly after".
Facebook Home: Which Android smartphones does it work on?
Facebook has only developed the Home app for certain Android smartphones: the HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2. In the future is will be available for the HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4 and more devices over the months following the launch.
Facebook Home: Will it work on tablets?
Initially, Facebook Home won't launch for tablets but the firm is interested in doing so in the future.
Facebook Home: Will it launch on iPhone?
There has been no mention of whether Facebook Home will launch on iPhone or not. It's unlikely though as Android has been chosen due to its open source platform.
Update: Facebook has updated the iPhone app to include the Chat Heads feature of Facebook Home. Apple is reportedly in talks with Facebook about bringing Facebook Home to iOS.
HTC First: What is it?
The HTC First is a new smartphone which is the, er, first to come pre-loaded with Facebook Home. It's been dubbed the 'Facebook Phone'.
HTC First: When will it launch?
The HTC First will launch on 12 April with the Facebook Home app in the US with AT&T. In the UK it will launch with EE during the summer.
HTC First: How much will it cost?
On an AT&T contract, the HTC First will cost $99. There's no word on a UK pricing yet.
HTC First: What colours are there?
The HTC First will be available in black, red, white and blue colour varients.
HTC First: Specs
• 4.3in screen 720p resolution
• 1.4GHz Qualcomm dual-core processor
• Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
• 1GB RAM
• 16GB internal storage
• 5Mp rear camera
• 1.6Mp front camera
• Bluetooth 4.0
• 4G LTE support
• 2000mAh battery