Facebook gets a hold on android phones with facebook home – walt mossberg – personal technology – allthingsd

Also, with one swipe, you can go right to Facebook Messenger, the social network’s chat feature, to communicate directly with people and even send and receive text messages.

All of this is possible before you even see the usual start or home screen of your phone filled with app icons, by using a new suite of software Facebook is introducing for Android phones on Friday called Facebook Home.

Facebook Home, which replaces several key aspects of a phone in addition to the lock screen, will be an optional, free download for U.S. Android phone number users at launch on four leading Android phones, including the very popular Samsung Galaxy S III. Android phone zte It also will be available that day, preloaded, on a midrange, $99 model, the HTC First, from AT&T. In android phone At least two other major Android phones also will be compatible when they hit the market.

I’ve been testing Facebook Home for five days on the HTC First, but this isn’t a review of the phone hardware, which is unremarkable. Android phone factory reset I focused my testing on Facebook Home, the boldest attempt by any non-hardware company to alter a phone’s native user interface.

In effect, Facebook has created its own phone without having to build or sell hardware. Lge android phone driver g3 The HTC First, so far the sole phone on which it’s preloaded, even boots up with the Facebook logo.

I found Facebook Home to be easy to use, elegantly designed and addictive. Com android phone stopped Although I’m a regular Facebook user, I found that, with Home, I paid more attention than ever to my news feed, Liked items more often and used Facebook’s Messenger service more often. Screenshot on phone android So, if you are a big Facebook fan, Facebook Home can be a big win.

But I found some downsides. What is android phone Facebook Home blocks the one-step camera icon some Android phone makers place on their lock screen to allow you to take pictures without first unlocking the phone. Android phone getting slower It also overlays other lock-screen features some Android phone makers include, such as weather information or favorite app icons. Android phone in 3000 rs And if you do go to the icon-filled home screen, you’ll find that Facebook Home has taken that over as well, topping the screen with a bar that makes posting to Facebook easier and eliminating the bottom bar of heavily used apps.

By default, the first of these Facebook Home app screens contains Facebook’s apps, including the popular Facebook-owned service, Instagram, plus apps from other companies, like Google Maps and Google Search, and the camera app. Android phone camera comparison You can remove these and add others.

With Home, Facebook is essentially staging a land grab of Android, the hugely successful mobile operating system made by one of its key rivals, Google. Android phone gallery Facebook Home leaves all the standard Google apps in place and doesn’t alter the underlying Android operating system. Android device driver download But because it’s so dominant, it makes it less likely that a user with limited time will launch Google products that compete with Facebook, such as Google’s own social network, Google+, or rival services from other companies, such as Twitter.

This is all made possible because Android allows third-party companies to alter the lock screen and other core features, such as the app launcher, which displays app icons and widgets.

By contrast, Facebook Home can’t run on Apple’s iPhones, because Apple doesn’t allow others to take control of these core functions. U c browser android phone Apple has integrated Facebook (and Twitter) to some degree into the iPhone, mainly by making it possible to sign into the services as part of its basic settings and to share almost any content to them easily. Android phone software But that’s as far as it goes.

When you first turn on the screen on a Home-equipped phone, you see the time and a small circle at the bottom displaying your Facebook profile picture. Android phone antivirus apps If you don’t touch the screen, your news feed, called the Cover Feed, starts to display, automatically scrolling from one post to the next. Fastest charging android phone You also can manually swipe through the feed. Com android phone zostal zatrzymany Each post takes up the whole screen. What is an android phone wikianswers If it’s a photo, it’s displayed in all its glory. Com android phone s est interrompu If it’s a text post, the author’s larger wall photo appears faintly in the background. Recommended android phone The effect is mesmerizing.

To get beyond the feed, you touch your little round picture and swipe it over to one of three icons that appear. Phone key android games Swipe up to see a home screen, or app launcher of your favorite app icons. Swees android phone reviews Swipe left to go to Facebook Messenger. Android phone 5000 to 7000 Swipe right to go to the last app used, whether it’s a Facebook app or not.

Facebook Home has another major feature: Chat Heads. Android phone jailbreak These are the profile pictures of people who send you Facebook messages or text messages via Messenger. Android phone print screen Unlike message notifications that appear only briefly on most phones, these remain visible, atop any app you’re using, tempting you to keep chatting via Facebook. Android phone comparison chart 2015 You can move them around if they’re blocking something, but you can only get rid of them by dragging them off the screen to the bottom. Android about phone Whether they annoy or delight you will depend on how much you use Facebook Messenger.

Facebook stresses that Home is purely optional. Best android phone for the price Nobody needs to install it, or buy the sole phone on which it’s preloaded. Android phone in safe mode You can still use Facebook the way you always have — through the app. What is the android phone In fact, Home doesn’t fully replace the app, which has many more features.

And you can turn all of it, or parts of it, off. R831 android phone driver I was able to turn it off even on the HTC First and also to require the phone to be unlocked before I could see my feed.

Facebook says it hopes eventually to include feeds from other services, such as Twitter, in the automatic stream of updates on the lock screen. Best android phone apps 2015 Even now, alerts — but not full posts or photos — from other products, such as Gmail or Twitter, appear on top of the news feed. 3 inch android phone However, this only works on the HTC First. Lenovo android phone driver a536 Other phones only display Facebook alerts in Home. Android phone format code There aren’t any ads in Cover Feed currently but Facebook says there may be in the future.

You cannot view customized news feeds, like ones containing only certain people, in Cover Feed. Android phone emulator for windows You also can’t compose new posts from the lock screen, though Facebook says it hopes to add that feature.

I didn’t notice that my test phone suffered any significant battery loss while running Home constantly, but Facebook does provide settings for data use and image quality that can lower the battery load of Home. Android phone data recovery The default setting is “medium.”

Facebook Home is a very clever and very well-done product that will delight Facebook fans. Android phone comparison 2016 If you aren’t in that category, or prefer the standard Android user interface, it won’t be right for you.