Friday, April 5, 2013

Facebook Home & HTC First Announced, My Thoughts On It

Earlier today Facebook held an android related event in the HQ in California and at there they announced the Facebook home launcher and the HTC First. Yesterday i revealed my preliminary thoughts on the device and today, i'm going to give a follow up to the article on my thoughts after seeing it officially launched.
First things first, i have read quite a number of articles and seen quite some videos on the new Facebook Home launcher and i'm very impressed with what it can do. Also some big sites have put on some polls about the new launcher and they're asking if users want to use the new launcher as their home screen and the results are pretty consistently same in which users don't want to use it. When i first saw it this morning i was really intrigued with the lockscreen and i thought it was really nice with the minimalistic clock and being able to comment and like on the pictures which are the base for your lockscreen on the Facebook Home launcher.
Then i gave a thought on the pictures appearing on the lockscreen are all from your friends on facebook and what demoed on stage is the best case scenario and having the thought of low resolution and pixelated images being your homescreen is really terrifying. But that didn't stop my love for the notification system on the launcher which looks pretty functional but again it seems that its leaning towards facebook features. Jumping pass the lockscreen is the app drawer which is like android 2.2 with a touch of modern android themes. Again the background of the Facebook Home launcher is based on the photos randomly selected from your facebook friends and i'm still not sure if its possible to even put a custom one. On the same page jumping into the HTC First which should provide with the best Facebook Phone experience since it was built around it. The device looks pretty nicely designed and has that Facebook phone look and nicely suits with the interface being presented. Talking about devices, the new launcher by the social network giant will hit the Play Store next week on April 12 supporting 5 devices which are the HTC One, HTC One X/X+, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S III, and the Galaxy Note II. Facebook says that over the coming weeks they will roll it out to more devices and also in the coming months it will be available for Android tablets. Moving on to the somewhat key feature of the launcher which is the popup bubble which can appear on any app or situation, it serves as a chat box which can be even used while running apps. This is one features which i highly look up upon as is some basic multitasking. Again, the fact that it only supports Facebook Messenger is a downfall but maybe in the future messaging will be supported. Rethinking the whole launcher made me think of the core problems of android, Lag its a hit or miss kind of thing and looking at the demo videos the launcher doesn't seems to face signs of lag but i'll try it myself first hand next week when the launcher is on the Play Store. Overall as Mark Zuckerberg said the whole experience is around your friends and not around apps. 
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