Four weeks ago, Facebook launched Facebook Home, a launcher for Android that brings the social network’s experience front and center.
The company on Thursday invited a small group of reporters to its campus to discuss Facebook Home, its successes and challenges, and what we can expect to see added to the platform in the future.
“We’re at just about 1 million downloads on Home,” Facebook’s Director of Mobile Engineering Cory Ondrejka told the group, a number which he says is about where Facebook wanted to be at this time. He didn’t, however, share how many of those 1 million downloads were currently active users of the app. The company says the number will be important to them in the future. Right now it is focusing on the engagement level of those current active users, however many there happen to be.
“This is the first product for us that has focused on mobile best,” Ondrejka said.
Mobile best is different than Facebook’s focus on “mobile first.” Home is the first product the company has created with an intention to make mobile better than the experience you might get elsewhere.
“We’re doing a relatively slow roll out intentionally,” says Ondrejka, so Facebook can learn from early adopters, and make changes as necessary.
From that slow roll out –- and reviews in Google Play — Facebook has learned a bit about what people love about the launcher, and what’s missing.
“We’ve spent a lot of time digging through the one star ratings,” says Ondrejka.
Ondrejka says there are two major features that weren’t in Home at launch that people really think the launcher needs. The first is folders, and the second is docks. Facebook has fixes to both issues in the works, with plans to release those features in future updates.
During the event, we were given a quick look at what that feature will look like when it is released.
Another growth point for Facebook with Home is its “chat heads” feature. Users believe the feature is great for continuing a conversation, but not as useful when it comes to starting one. To help alleviate that issue, Facebook is planning to add a new buddy list from Facebook home where users can pull out a list of their friends to initiate a conversation
Facebook Home is currently only officially available on the HTC One X or One X+, Samsung’s Galaxy S III, or the Galaxy Note II. The app also comes pre-loaded on the HTC First from AT&T. Facebook says the app has also been sideloaded onto over 10,000 unsupported devices by industrious Android users.
Facebook Home is currently sitting at a 2.2 star rating in Google Play.
Facebook Home will be updated monthly starting today with primarily a bug-fixing update and is scheduled to receive another update July 11. The features shown off today will be released in the coming months.
What features do you hope to see in Facebook Home in the future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments
While facebook home may not be for everyone, it gained some serious traction since its introduction,today at facebook HQ,Cory On drejka, director of mobile enginnering let loose that, in the month since facebook was first released.
Facebook Home Updated With HTC One And Samsung Galaxy S4 Support
When Facebook Home was first announced, the launcher was made available only to a select couple of handsets, older handsets in fact, like the Samsung Galaxy S3, the HTC One X, One X+ and so on. Well the good news is that if you’ve been eagerly waiting to get Facebook Home onto your brand new HTC One or Samsung Galaxy S4, you’re in luck as the launcher has since been updated to include support for both the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4. Apart from that, the app has also received additional updates such as several performance and improvements.
Facebook did state that they plan to include more features in future updates of the launcher, such as Dock, Dash Bar and a new user experience. No word on when these features will be made available, but in the meantime for HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 owners, this update is for you. If you’re interested in giving the launcher a go, head on over to the Google Play store for the free download and to check to see if your phone is supported by it.