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Facebook Home put to the test: looks nice, lacks depth!

Loie Favre (translation)
4

A preliminary version of Facebook Home recently appeared on the internet. The complete version will be available in Google Play Store for selected devices on April 12th. We've taken a pre-emptive first look at the controversial Facebook Home and here's what we thought.

facebook home lockscreen 01
Unfortunatly the App Launcher stopped working when it came down to taking screenshots in English. On the other hand, these pictures will give you an excellent first taste of what Facebook Home will look like. © AndroidPIT

The version of Facebook Home that I tested out is not the full version and didn't have all the functions. On the other hand, it was more than enough to get a first taste.

After you've installed the APK, you'll be asked which launcher you'd like to start in a pop-up after pressing on your Android device home button. Choose Facebook Home and log-in with your usual information. After this, it's go time.

First off, you'll be presented with the sleek-looking lockscreen. In the top middle, you'll see the clock, while in the bottom middle, there will be your profile picture shown a little circle. In the background, a constant feed of status updates from your Facebook friends takes up the entire screen. This is presented to you like a picture gallery in slide-show mode. There seemed to be no problems or hinges to report and created an eye-pleasing display.

facebook home maindisplay  
Apps, Camera and Facebook options float around your face on the lockscreen. © Modaco

If you drag your profile picture slightly up, you'll be presented with three options: apps, camera and Facebook. If you pull your face all the way up, all of your apps will be displayed. Pull it to the right, you'll be brought to your Facebook account. Lastly, pull it to the left and the camera app will be launched. I tested Facebook Home with an LG Optimus G and the camera function didn't work: nothing happened. The app simply refused to launch.

When you launch your apps, only Facebook-oriented apps like Messenger are to be seen. In of the app overview, you'll be able to update our status, upload pictures and check in to a location. This also didn't work, therefore I couldn't really test it any further. A swipe to the right shows all of installed apps. By long-pressing on the app, you can drag it over to the right screen, which create a shortcut.

facebook home apps
Facebook apps, check-in and status updates available along with other apps. © AndroidPIT

In the Facebook Home settings, you can slightly customize the launcher. For example, you have the choice of whether status updates or notifications are displayed. What's more, you can even overlay Android's status bar again. This is normally deactivated and only appears when you swipe from top down on the lockscreen.

facebook home einstellungen
Restricted settings: limited personalization options available. © AndroidPIT

Bottom Line

Facebook Home on the appearance side of things left me with a good impression. The design was minimal, tidy and uncluttered. However, searching for widgets was in vain and the personalization options were kept within bounds. The die-hard Facebook user on the other hand will definitely find that Facebook Home lives up to their expectations. I personally prefer the classic Android launcher with its wide range of possibilities. For me, Facebook Home really doesn't have a purpose. When I feel like using Facebook, then I'll take the app route over the launcher any day.

Have you already put Facebook home to do the test?

[Warning: Install at your own risk!]

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Comments

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  • Owen Lednor Apr 10, 2013 Link

    lol I would so try this but I just changed ROM's.... that's enough testing and stuff for me today, but I hold high hopes (I have to hope) for a Facebook Launcher :) It would be nice to not to have to use the app I guess :)

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    Loie Favre Apr 10, 2013 Link

    Well there's only a couple days left to wait. What I would do is try it out once to see how it looks and feels and then if you really like it, download it for good. At least you get this option of trying it on first. If you don't like it, well then there's always the app. It's a matter of taste as well as what generally takes up most of your time on your smartphone.

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  • Glostermeteor Apr 10, 2013 Link

    why would I turn my home page into a Facebook playground? I can already add a widget that gives me my facebook updates

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