Facebook Home Hits ‘About 1 Million’ Downloads Mobile, and gets HTC One And Samsung Galaxy S4 Support


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

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.

Facebook reveals its first TV ad for Facebook Home

Facebook has just revealed its first television commercial for Facebook Home, which is set to hit your television sets soon. The commercial is titled “Airplane” and it centers around a man who livens up his business trip by bringing his friends “on the journey with him”. Every time he scrolls across his Cover Feed, someone will appear, whether its his friends in the overhead luggage compartments, drag queens popping up all around him, or his nephew smothered in chocolate cake.

The commercial also shows off the upcoming AT&T exclusive HTC First, which will come with an embedded version of Facebook Home. The embedded version of Facebook Home features minor differences to the downloaded version, with the main difference being better app notifications integrated into the Cover Feed feature. The HTC First itself is a low-to-mid ranged phone that you will be able topurchase for $99 on a new two-year contract with AT&T. If you want the phone, but don’t want Facebook Home, you can check out our guide to de-programming the embedded Facebook Home launcher.

Facebook Home follows Mark Zuckerberg’s philosophy that phones should revolve around people, and not apps. It brings your friend’s closer to you through features like the Cover Feed as well as Chat Head Messaging, which lets you message your friends even while you’re in another app. It will also have Instagram-like features where you can double-tap a photo to like it.

Both HTC First and Facebook Home are set to be released on April 12th. You can download the Facebook Home app for free from the Google Play store. The app will bring all of your friend’s status updates and photos to the forefront of your Android device, but how many of us actually want that? We should know once the app launches

Microsoft tells Android users: ‘Forget Facebook Home, get Windows Phone’

Microsoft tells Android users: 'Forget Facebook Home, get Windows Phone'

Microsoft has applauded Facebook’s efforts to bring the ‘people first’ experience Android is “sadly lacking”, with its Facebook Home UI, but said Windows Phone has been offering that for two years.

Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft’s communications kingpin, said yesterday’s launch event was “remarkably similar” to the Windows Phone launch two years ago, when Microsoft unleashed its own people-centric OS.

In a post on the official Microsoft blog, Shaw, who was complimentary of Facebook’s efforts, cheekily joked that he had to check his calendar to make sure it wasn’t 2011 when he tuned into coverage of the event.

However, he also “humbly suggested” that Android users shouldn’t bother adding Facebook Home to their phones when it is launched on April 12, but should simply get “the real deal” Windows Phone instead.

Put People First

Shaw, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications, wrote: “When we sat down with a blank sheet of paper and designed Windows Phone, we put three words on the wall to guide the team: “Put People First”.

“People are more important than apps, so phones should be designed around you and the people you care about, not the apps you might use to reach them. So, we got to work and built a phone that asked and answered questions like these:

“Instead of rows and rows of apps, why not have a screen full of the people that matter most to you, and start with them? Instead of having to launch an app to see what’s behind that notification icon, why not just bring the content to the home screen? Instead of having SMS and Facebook Messaging as separate chat threads, why not bring them together in one conversation?

“Instead of having photos on your phone and photos in Facebook, why not bring those photos together in one place? Instead of having to launch an app just to check in, why not just tap your own face and do it directly?”

Just upgrade to Windows Phone, duh!

Shaw went on to talk about how millions of Windows Phone users are already experiencing many of the benefits Facebook unveiled on Thursday and claimed Android users had become frustrated by the app-centric approach.

He added: “So, we understand why Facebook would want to find a way to bring similar functionality to a platform that is sadly lacking it. But as Android owners know, that platform is complicated enough without adding another skin built around another metaphor, on top of what is already a custom variant of the OS.

“So, while we applaud Facebook for working to give some Android owners a taste of what a “people-centric” phone can be like, we’d humbly like to suggest that you get the real thing, and simply upgrade to a Windows Phone.”

Facebook Home for Android is official, coming April 12 on the new HTC First!

Facebook Home is officially announced

Well, it isn’t exactly a Facebook phone, but it has the capability of turning any Android smartphone into one. We’re talking about the new Facebook Home, which just got announced officially. Simply put, it is an Android launcher – replacing the stock interface of an Android device it is installed on with a new one, built around Facebook social networking from the ground up.
As Mark Zuckerberg himself puts it, Facebook Home is designed around people instead of prioritizing apps like other phone interfaces do. By doing so, the software aims to deliver a more personal experience to Facebook users. At the same time, it should be easy to use with its minimalist, simple interface. As soon as the phone is turned on, the user’s list of notification appears with their profile picture at the bottom. Need to dismiss something? Then all it takes is a swipe to the side. A swipe up brings the list of all installed applications.
Something that’s unique to Facebook Home is the Chat Heads feature (and no, we aren’t making that name up). When you’re in a chat with someone, it puts an icon with their picture in the screen’s corner for quick and easy access. There is even a counter that shows how many lines of text you’ve missed.
Facebook Home will be available only on select smartphones at first, but it should spread to many more after its release. That includes both smartphones and tablets. April 12 is the day when Facebook Home will land on the Play Store.

HTC First announced, coming exclusively to AT&T on April 12th for $99.99


Continuing its obsession with the number one, HTC has officially announced the First, an Android device with a bit more Facebook influence than most other smartphones we’ve used in the past — including other handsets given preferential treatment from the social media network during the last four years. HTC’s Peter Chou and AT&T’s Ralph de la Vega took the stage at the event to announce the phone, which is the world’s first Home-optimized device. What exactly that means remains to be seen, but HTC’s Chou indicated it will be a “unique experience.”

There were no specs announced for the device, other than it having LTE, of course. But, earlier leaks have indicated it will be 4.3-inch, 720p mid-range phone, not threatening the HTC One by any stretch of the imagination. It will be available on April 12th exclusively in the US on AT&T for just $99.99