Facebook Home: Cover feed, Chat heads, Notifications and other apps

April 4, 2013
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Facebook has officially unveiled Home. And as we previously mentioned, it will be available for download from the Google Play Store beginning on April 12. For those without a calendar handy, that means you can expect to find Facebook Home available a week from tomorrow. In the meantime, here is a breakdown of the features that one can expect if they choose to use Home.

Facebook Home, as we had been expecting -- is not an app, but a launcher. The official description has Facebook Home as being a "completely new experience that lets you see the world through people, not apps." Perhaps more to the point here, Facebook Home has a few key features which include Cover Feed, Chat Heads and Notifications. Of course, there is also access to your other non-Facebook apps.

Cover Feed is a setup that will replace your existing lock screen. It is said to be a beautiful and immersive experience, but rather simply, Cover Feed will present updates from your feed without you having to really do much. These will just appear and are aimed at providing detail during those times when you are simply standing around. Those "in-between" moments such as standing in line. With Cover Feed you can double tap to like or flip to scroll for more.

Next up is Chat Heads, which as the name would imply -- is focused on chatting with friends. Chat Heads will allow you to continue chatting with friends while you use other apps. These Chat Heads can be moved around the screen and will be available for sending and receiving messages regardless of what you are doing in those other apps. Also, due to the SMS integration with the Facebook Messenger app, Chat Heads will work for Facebook messages and text messages.

Last up here are the notifications. This again, are as the name implies. Basically, these notifications should include the more important items, such as items that are directed at you. The notifications can be opened by a simple tap of the screen and alternatively can also be hidden away with a swipe.

The one catch that we are seeing may be with those times when you want another app. We have to get hands-on to see how good or bad this will be, however Facebook has said that accessing other apps will be easy. It seems you will simply need to swipe up to see your favorite apps in the launcher. There will also be a screen containing all of your apps, and this one will allow you to drag your favorite apps to the launcher. With that, Facebook Home will be available on April 12.


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