Saturday, December 21, 2013

Facebook Home revamped, now has more familiar 'launcher feel'

It's been mostly mum on the app since its release, but Facebook hasn't been ignoring Home. Facebook has released an update to its Home app -- with latest version released into the Play Store on Dec. 19.

For those who don't recall, Facebook released Home, its launcher replacement application, in mid-April. For what we assume are compatibility reasons, Facebook has said the app is only supported on " certain devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Note II, Nexus 4, HTC First, HTC One X, HTC One X+ and HTC One."

It has garnered a sub-par 2.6 rating (out of 5); when it was first launched it reached 500,000 downloads in less than two weeks, but also had 52 percent one-star ratings during that time, as well.

Things have improved since then; the app currently has 44.7 percent one-star ratings (insert sarcasm here).

The update -- which Facebook confirmed was available to beta testers for a few weeks, rolled out to the public on Thursday, along with a YouTube video publicizing it (embedded).

Rather than a random picture and status update every time you wake up your phone, the new lockscreen has a more familiar feel. The UI displays time, weather, and notifications overlaid on the lockscreen, atop a now selectable wallpaper.

If you swipe left you can see your Cover Feed (there is also a shortcut to bring up Cover Feed in the Home launcher).

As a launcher replacement, Facebook Home revamps the look and feel of virtually your entire Android device.  However, when it debuted it was hammered for being so Facebook-centric as to be annoying.

It's unclear how many people will care about this update. It only has between 1 and 5 million downloads vs. the main app's 500 million to 1 billion.

No comments: