The Android operating system is widely known for having vast customisation. From apps which change home screen layouts and how the system even operates.
Facebook Home is the companies first venture into a user-interface application. Facebook Home changes your home screen into a layout which shows Facebook updates, straight onto your phones screen.
I spent a week with the new application, and while within the first few days it was a nice novelty, it gradually became an frustrating and pretty sluggish overlay.
For me, my mobile phone needs to be easy to navigate. I need to have my contacts, text messaging and other important apps all in one place that I can access very quickly, whether it be an emergency or not. What Facebook Home does, it overlays over the entire screen of your phone. On this screen, your friends status updates and your notifications appear in a stylish full screen format, just swipe the screen, and you’ll see the next update, sounds pretty cool right?
Well what follows is not. Normally with Android phones, a task bar at the bottom holds the buttons for contacts, internet, text messaging and phone dialing. What this does is it gives you a circular tile, which when dragged to the left side of the screen, accesses Facebook messaging, when moved to the top, shows the list of all of your apps and then when dragged to the right, accesses the last app you have used. You can imagine how much of an annoyance it is to trawl through a huge list of apps, just to find a new message or even call someone.
Not only this, it is horrendously slow. Switching from app to app using this home screen takes more time than it really should. It does have its own app launcher, which is a nice idea, but even so important aspects such as calling someone and texting shouldn’t take this long to carry out, I mean that is why we all have phones? It’s the main use of a mobile phone.
It’s a nice idea to integrate Facebook directly onto your phones home screen. For the most part it works quite well, but it’s performance issues and the prioritisation of Facebook messaging over traditional text messaging and phone calling is what brings this down. It’s almost as if Facebook are trying to have some kind of exclusivity. Never the less, it is a nice looking piece of software and integrates well with Facebook itself. But before it is going to be considered as a default home screen, it needs optimising, even running it on a Galaxy S3 it’s clunky.
Head over to the Google Play Store and test the software out for yourself, let us know what you think in the comments below!