Facebook today announced a new Android software integration called Facebook Home that will put Facebook services at the forefront of smartphone homescreens.
“With Home you see your world around people, not apps,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said today.
Facebook Home essentially turns your phone into a Facebook smartphone. It’s a family of apps that includes Cover Feed, Messaging and Chatheads.
It will be available April 12 in the Play Store and only a few devices will be supported at launch: HTC One X, One X+, Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, and when they become available, the One and the Galaxy S4.
The other big news was that HTC and Facebook announced HTC First, a smartphone that comes with Facebook Home preloaded. It will cost $99 and be sold exclusively through AT&T. Not many details were given on the phone’s specs.
Here’s more about Facebook Home. The Cover Feed becomes the replacement for your lockscreen/homescreen and lets you see status updates and photos without having to unlock anything or access an app. You can also comment and “like” content right from your homescreen. It takes up your entire screen and looks pretty slick.
Messaging is another key part of Facebook Home. It includes something called “Chatheads,” which uses small faces as tabs for messaging windows. Tapping on these “Chatheads” lets you respond to messages immediately without having to leave an app. For example, you could be reading an article on GeekWire on your phone and send text messages with “Chatheads” and never leave the article.
You can still access all your other apps by swiping up on a launcher icon.
Facebook also promised to update Home once a month with new features and said that its working on a Facebook Home for tablets.
Reach staff reporter Taylor Soper at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Taylor_Soper