The long-rumored “Facebook Phone” is finally here – although not in the form that many expected. Instead of an actual smartphone, Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg unveiled “Home” – a series of applications that ingrates the Facebook platform with the Android operating system and essentially makes Facebook the homepage on one’s mobile device.
Utilizing live Flipboard-like functionality to place social media updates directly on the home screen via “Cover Feed,” the system will see individual apps accessible via a separate launcher. Arguably Home’s most enticing feature is the new “Chatheads,” which works alongside Facebook Messenger and SMS to manage conversations and provide alerts with unobtrusive pop-ups instead of the usual notification formats.
Facebook Home will be available to download for Android users beginning April 12 while the HTC First, also unveiled at the event, will be the first smartphone to come pre-loaded with the interface – it launches on April 12 as well and will be available exclusively through AT&T for $99 USD with a two-year contract. The entirety of the unveiling event for Facebook Home and the HTC First can be seen here.