Facebook Home accomplishes a lot for basically being a application. The way the application functions and redirects the user experience is a departure from just about every other platform out there.
Taking the HTC First and its middle-of-the-road specifications aside, there are some neat features embedded with Facebook Home, and not just because the UI is smooth and new. The approach to place the “app experience” underneath the personal experience may gather momentum.
The interface ran fluidly, with no lag or stuttering at all. One of the neat features we have to admit are the "Chat Head" notifications when a message comes in. You can move them around or discard the notification if you want (without deleting the message of course). During the presentation, it was stated that the effort was to ensure that the basis were done right. Based on our initial observations, Facebook was successful in that endeavor.
As Facebook has announced that there will be updates to the Home every month, more functions are going to come as well. In fact, we were told that just about everyone at Facebook was running the next build on their devices already. Follow along our summary through the basics of Facebook Home.
1. The beginning of Cover Feed
The initial home screen is also the beginning of the Cover Feed, which will automatically (or manually) share content from your Facebook news feed.
Initial navigation is simple, just touch your own avatar and you can either select messaging (to the left), installed apps (top) or the most recent app visited (to the right).
Facebook has been making a huge push with messaging lately. Through this portal, Facebook home will show your SMS and Facebook messaging messages.
4. Back to home
All the apps you have installed on your device will continue to work unimpeded. From the first app screen you can organize and add pages (swipe right to left). You will also notice one of the really cool features about Facebook Home, the Chat Head.
6. Chat Head
The Chat Head is a notification and a launcher to see and respond to the message. You can move the notification around or discard it without deleting the message.
7. After tapping the Chat Head
8. Back to Home
Unlike the HTC First, Android devices that download Facebook Home as an "add on" will not have some functions available, such as, third party app notifications. Those notifications will be shown in the notification bar on the top, and you can still pull down the notification shade to see your traditional Android device functions. The Facebook Home app has an option to ensure you keep the notification bar visible if you choose.
When viewing your apps, swiping from left to right shows all your apps on the phone, versus those you choose to have in Home's app tray. What does "More" do for you?
Selecting "More" from the app screen brings you back to the traditional Android screens of the device. Although, notice the Chat Head will stay with you. That is kind of neat. Once the phone is locked or times out to sleep mode, when you reawaken the device, you will be back on Facebook Home.