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Facebook Home is officially announced

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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. Gone are the traditional home screens for placing widgets on. Instead, it's all information about whatever your friends are up to. 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, be it through Facebook or via plain old text messaging, 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 texts 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.

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