Facebook Home simply doesn’t discriminate what it shows. What do we mean by that? Well, there’s no way to regulate (for now) what Facebook Home will show in the cover feed. Worse yet, if you have one of those Facebook friends that love to post provocative photos or inappropriate jokes, you’ll be shocked to maybe see it the moment you turn on your device. In fact, Grandma might be horrified in what she might perhaps see upon turning it on. And of course, you’ll need to come up with some good excuses if your boss somehow sees something like that.
Another concern that we have with Facebook Home is centered around privacy. Specifically, if you leave your phone out in the open, where anyone can check it out, they can immediately check out and read all of the posts in your cover feed. Even if you put up a lock of some kind, whether it’s a pattern one or face unlock, they can still access the cover feed. It’s only when we try to do something else, like launching an app, that the phone will ask us to provide the pertinent unlock to gain access to the handset.
Considering that friends are more likely to respond to Facebook messages faster than your typical SMS, Facebook Home dishes up a new feature with Facebook Messenger. Rather than launching the Messenger to see an overview of all your conversations, we now have access to Chat Heads. Yes people, you heard that right, Chat Heads! When you get an incoming Facebook message, a chat head will appear in the UI – it’s actually layered on top of everything, which is great since we have access to those conversations at any point. Even better, we can place the chat heads anywhere around the edge of the UI. For those wondering, Chat Heads will automatically snap to the edges if you try and place it somewhere in the wide open space. Knowing that Chat Heads have all the functionality associated with Facebook Messenger, it’s wonderful we can also send photos and record audio from directly within our Chat Head conversation.
Like we said, Facebook Home’s new dynamic approach is compelling at first, but after checking it out for some time, we don’t find it wholesome enough to use day in, day out. Frankly, you’ll need to invest a lot more time going through Facebook Home’s cover feed – whereas with the usual Facebook app, we can get through a great deal amount of content in a shorter amount of time, thanks to its more concise scrollable listing. Swiping away in the cover feed is tiresome, so that’s why we find ourselves increasingly relying on the usual app. Unfortunately, even with the HTC First, the Facebook app remains largely untouched. In fact, it’s the same old experience as before, which is a bummer considering it’s THE Facebook phone. Nevertheless, we’re hoping that Facebook will focus on building up Facebook Home so we can ditch the app entirely.
- Dynamic way of displaying content
- Simple presentation
- Quick access to conversations with chat heads
- No control in what is seen in the cover feed
- No unlock needed to access cover feed
- Not enough Facebook oriented functions