Saturday, May 14, 2011

Facebook Home launched recently for Android devices. However, there are some devices like tablets and Smartphones that are not yet supported including Google Nexus 7. The fascination with this new arrangement of including MMS, SMS, applications and various other fully integrated Facebook features has caused a lot of interest in it. Now the question is, do you really need it? Let us find out all about Facebook Home when you decide to use it on your Samsung Galaxy S III.

Cover Feed

As soon as you install the app on your Smartphone you will be greeted with scrolling status messages, profile picture bubble and news feeds. To reveal your last used app press and scroll to the right, for messenger left and for revealing Apps tap the home key or move upwards. If you want to through your news feed then either flick right or left, you can also hide your profile picture by taping on it. Other features include liking and commenting. To blow up a picture on your screen just press and hold down.

Unified Messaging and Chat Heads

The Messenger app enables integrates MMS and SMS messages. This immediately alerts you as soon as you get an update or receive a message. Tap to reply the message that appears on the middle of your screen, this now opens up a Chat Head. Chat Heads depend upon the number of people who are chatting with you. If you find your screen cluttered with it then flick to bottom to remove it. However, there are some disappointing aspects about it as well. Although this does seems like unified messaging option but at times you will be confused as to which kind of message is being sent. It is easy getting confused between text and Facebook messages amongst the clutter of messages. Additionally, other platforms like Google voice, WhatsApp and Kik seem to be more popular amongst young users, why would one like to be confined within the walls of SMS and MMS. At times, you might feel annoyed with the bubble of Chat Head that keeps hanging until you flick it to remove it or answer back.

Security Concerns

Facebook Home sits on your screen and the moment you switch on your phone you start receiving the Cover Feeds. For those who are hooked on to it will enjoy instant updates of friends and their social network. As for those who have concerns of privacy and security might be annoyed by this and feel infringement of privacy as anyone who picks up your phone will be able to access them directly flashing on the screen. If in any case, you misplace or your device is stolen then anyone can easily misuse your Facebook account. To avoid all this you can make changes in the settings, Menu->Home Settings, uncheck the box next to the See Home When Screen Turns On. This revert back the lockscreen functionality. Again, what is the use of Facebook Home if you are removing the updates from your home screen.

Data Consumption

Updating the Cover Feed requires constant data packet exchange. This will result in quick battery drain and hiked bills. The higher amount of data exchange is used in pictures and updates, you can fix it by making changes in the settings.

Why you will not like Facebook Home?

The first thing to notice is the Android Jelly Bean that is all about keeping it clutter free and invisibility. With Facebook Home, it is just the opposite. Additionally, the folders and widgets are replaced by the app drawer divided into four screens with quick utility that includes photo, check in and status.

The biggest concern is about the privacy. Installing the app requires no permission from your device. Additionally, you will always be logged in your account and your location will be monitored including apps downloads and the apps you are currently using.

Is it a thing to be alarmed about?

It is true that Facebook Home will be monitoring your activities, your phone activities and your downloads. However, the same goes with Apple and Google but because these are well-established brands, so it seems safe. Still it is too early to assume that Facebook Home might be malicious.


If you are totally hooked to this social networking website then you will enjoy using it. For those who are not as active on Facebook this may seem the biggest annoyance ever. The Chat Heads for instance might cause clutter and the confusion with messaging is yet another factor. Interestingly HTC shipped their Smartphone with Facebook Home this indicates that there is hope for this app to catch on with technology enthusiasts.

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