Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new way to integrate its network on Android devices. Called Facebook Home, it represents a rethinking of how Facebook exists on Android phones, Zuckerberg said, putting people first instead of apps.
“You’re going to be able to turn your Android phone into a great social device,” Zuckerberg said at the unveiling. “Our phones today are designed around apps, not people. We want to flip that around.”
Facebook Home will put updates from the social network right on the home screen via a feature called Cover Feed. Content from Facebook takes up the entire screen, with no navigation or “chrome” whatsoever, and users can navigate through updates simply by swiping. Apps are still there, accessed through a launcher that appears via swiping up.
Another novel feature is chat heads, a way to manage conversations with friends. People you’re interacting with via Facebook Messenger appear as pop-up heads on the margin as opposed to intrusive notifications. You also don’t have to leave the app you’re in to respond. Chat heads work with Facebook Messenger and SMS, but not third-party messaging apps.