Facebook’s new Android experience called “Facebook Home” will be available for download on April 12 alongside a flagship smartphone, the HTC First.
Mixed reviews are starting to show up from the technology world. The general sentiment is that Facebook Home puts the social network at the heart of the smartphone experience. It makes you want to use the social network more
Walt Mossberg of AllThingsD makes it simple, “…if you are a big Facebook fan, Facebook Home can be a big win…If you aren’t in that category, or prefer the standard Android user interface, it won’t be right for you.”
David Pogue of The New York Times writes, “If [Facebook Home] sounds confusing, that’s because it is. In removing the app-launching function from the Home screen, Facebook has wound up having to reinvent the way you open programs on your phone, and the result feels like a hack…for most people, the entire purpose of a Home screen is displaying app icons. But there are no icons on Facebook’s Home screens; Facebook thinks you’d rather use that space for reading Facebook updates.”
CNET’s Jessica Dolcourt isn’t a fan, “Facebook Home isn’t for me personally…If you think you might like Home, there’s no harm in trying it out, at the very least to explore the great Chat Heads messenger concept, and to have fun interactively “liking” a few updates and navigating around. And who knows, maybe you’ll learn something new about your friends along the way.”
The Verge’s Dieter Bohn says, “People who are really into Facebook will probably love Cover Feed on Facebook Home. It looks nice, and setting aside the issue of seeing unwanted photos on your home screen, works quite well…I don’t know if Facebook will reach its target audience with Facebook Home…I find it very telling that even this infrequent Facebook user found himself interacting with status updates instead of doing other stuff on my phone…”
Engadget’s Brad Molen believes that, “the HTC First is an above-average mid-range device, and Facebook Home is a solid 1.0 product with plenty of room to grow.” But Molen continues, “Facebook Home isn’t perfect, nor will it convince many non-Facebookers to start Liking and commenting with reckless abandon. But it’s aesthetically pleasing, and surprisingly polished for a 1.0 product.”
Gizmodo’s Sam Biddle describes Home pretty accurately, “Facebook Home isn’t a Facebook Phone, nor is it really “a bunch of apps,” or a new operating system. It’s an admission: Facebook means a lot to me, and is an interesting view of my life—and I want to look at it all the time, everywhere I go. If that sounds like you, Home is where your heart should be.
Overall it seems that Facebook Home is a great way for Facebook to get more people spending more time using the social network. If you aren’t a huge fan then it probably won’t be for you.
On the other hand, if you already have a compatible Android phone, many reviewers suggest trying out the free Android app and seeing it for yourself.