Facebook Home, The launcher we don’t need

So Facebook introduced the new Facebook Home, basically a home launcher that shows you updated info from your facebook account. This is something that could have been done allot better, read on to find out why!

What is a home launcher?

A home launcher is like the desktop on your phone and can come in many different ways, Samsung has it’s TouchWiz HTC has it’s Sense UI and Cyanogenmod has it’s Trebuchet. This is the interface that let’s you navigate your Android Phone.

What is Facebook Home?

Facebook home is Facebook’s own launcher that integrates Facebook into the user interface on your phone, want to try it? If you have one of the following devices you can find it on Google play

  • HTC One X
  • HTC One X+
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
  • HTC One
  • Xperia T

Support for the Samsung Galaxy S4 is also available in the country’s that the S4 has been released, here in Norway this does not happen until the 27 of April so we’ll have to wait for that to confirm it.

Don’t have any of the devices above? fear not! here’s a link to a version that works on pretty much all devices running Android 4.0 (ICS) or newer….

This is how it looks and work…

Screenshot_2013-04-18-01-45-39

This is basically your lock screen (though with your own Facebook picture) and from here you can flip through all recent Facebook happenings by swipeing to left or right. All notifications show up in a box in the center of your screen and if you double tap them it will open the Facebook app and allow you to interact with them as normal.

 

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By draging your Facebook picture left, right or up you access your phone Left opens up the messenger app, Up opens the launchers quick access app list and right opens the most recently used app.

Screenshot_2013-04-18-01-45-52

This is the quick access app list in the launcher, it comes without anything on it from scratch and you can populate it almost in any way you want by swiping to the right it brings up the list of all apps on your device you also have a pane at the top with the basic Facebook features like updating status and sharing photos.

Screenshot_2013-04-18-01-45-57

Not the best looking solution but it gets the job done. From here you hold and drag the app you want to the place you want it in the quick access list.

Also featured in this launcher is the new Messenger app that comes with “Chat Head’s” this is a extension of the old Facebook messenger app to include SMS and MMS features from your phone and when a new text of chat message comes through you get a little round avatar that hangs around the sides of your screen that enables you to open the conversation at any time. These can be moved around so they are not in the way or removed completely if the conversation is ended. Looks nice enough as long as you have a contact picture set for the person you are conversing with but if not it just looks dumb with a circle that says SMS inside… there is for some reason no way to send pictures directly form the conversation you have to navigate either to the Android messaging app or to the Gallery and send it from there. They have added a bucket load of emotions that you can send from the conversions but come on, you don’t need that many, and if you do you need to have a sit down with yourself in my opinion. Some people may like this app, I on the other hand do not… it’s just half-ass, it’s like they released something in a pre-alpha state just to get it out there.

Why you don’t need this launcher:

This launcher is so basic it almost hurts. There is no integrated calling feature so you have to add that to the quick access list wich is not really quick at all. The launcher has no Google account integration at all so the Google apps you use also has to be added to the quick access list. The launcher is very slow and lagg’s often, the Facebook features are not that great and useful.

The overall feel of the launcher is that it feels like an app that you can’t get out of, it’s cramped and has very few features that one uses on a phone, and frankly unless you are a complete Facebook addict and NEED to be on Facebook at all times this is a waste of time app…

What launcher should you choose?

We would recommend you check out the Trebuche Launcher this is a feature full launcher with plenty of options. If you are running CyanogenMod 10.1 this is the integrated launcher. We also recommend that you check out the Crystal 2 Theme for the Trebuche launcher found on Google Play, and it looks like this:

Screenshot_2013-04-18-01-39-14

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