venerdì 5 aprile 2013
A New Facebook Mobile Experience: Facebook Home
According to Zuckerberg, Facebook Home consists of a few key capabilities designed to put people, not apps, first. "Today, our phones are designed aroundapps, not people" Zuckerberg said. "And we want to flip that around." He compared the change to adding Newsfeed to Facebook's website, where people started consuming about twice as much content overnight, he said. "We want to bring this experience right to your phone, and deliver it to as many poeple as possible."
There are three key components: Cover Feed, Chat Heads and Notifications.
Cover Feed: Replacing the home and/or lock screen of an Android device, it gives you an immersive experience from the moment you turn on your phone, said Adam Mosseri, Facebook's director of product. Instead of seeing a clock and maybe a snippet of a notification, you see your Facebook Open Graph stories with large images cycling across the screen. News shares, status updates (use the poster's cover photo as the background) are visible right from the get got. You can do a long press to see the whole picture or swipe to get to the next one. You can even add comments right from the home screen, seen below.
Chat Heads: These little round bubbles with the images of your friends shown below are the metaphor for Facebook Home's way of keeping you up to date on what your friends are saying. Incorporating Facebook messaging and texting, you just tap on the Head to join the conversation. (Group conversations smuch all the participant's pictures into the bubble, slightly awkwardly.) The key here is that Chat Heads show up everywhere on the phone, not just in a dedicated app. They're always available - the little Heads show up in the corner of the screen no matter what else you're doing, and follow along when you move to a new app. (You can just flick them away if you want to get rid of them.)
Notifications: If Chat Heads are about connecting to what's important to you, Zuckerberg said, Notifications are there to make sure you don't miss critical information - along with the name and face of the person who's sending you the message. Unfortunately, with the download version at least, Facebook Home will not support notifications of emails, but you can still use the native Android notification bar. It's not as pretty, but it's still effective - something may not matter to high-school kids, but it may to the older professionals who also make up a big part of Facebook's member base.
Finally, Facebook Home adds a new app launcher, for when you still want to use your phone the old-fashioned way. Apps are really important too, so we wanted to make it just as easy to get to your apps. The app launcher is just one swipe away from your home or lock screen.
The journalists, analysts and camera crews queued up in a chilly rain at Facebook's Menlo Park, California, headquarters to get the first look at Facebook's new home on Android - the long-rumored Facebook Phone.
Facebook Home will be available for free download from the Google Play store on April 12, but that's only part of the story. Facebook Home is also the HTC First (seen on the left, below), available the same day for $99.99 exclusively from AT&T - pre-orders start today.
As the first phone with Facebook Home built in, the HTC First offers deeper integration than the downloadable version. The key, Zuckerberg said, is that users don't have to download anything or sign in to anything to get started. In addition, the built-in integration means Facebook Home can (unlike the downloadable version) incorporate notifications from other apps, such as email or Spotify. The email issue, particularly, will be a big deal to some people.