Facebook has just unveiled Facebook Home, a new Android interface that focuses on your friends rather than your apps. Facebook Home changes your entire phone’s interface, adding a customized lock screen, home screen, messenger interface and app launcher. If want to give the new mobile interface a try, you’ll have to wait until Friday, April 12th. Here’s all the details.
At first, Facebook Home will only be available to download on just six Android devices: the HTC One, HTC One X, the HTC One X+, the Samsung Galaxy S III and 4 and the Samsung Galaxy Note II. Additionally, HTC and AT&T have teamed up to create a new phone called the HTC First, which will include Facebook Home pre-loaded and was supposedly designed specifically around the new interface.
To download Facebook Home, you’ll need to already have the most current version of the Facebook app and the Facebook Messenger app installed on your Android device. Facebook Home works in tandem with both of these apps, but both the Facebook app and Facebook Messenger will be separate downloads in the Google Play store.
Facebook Home also requires Android’s Jelly Bean operating system in order to run, which should already be standard on the supported smartphones. If you want to check to see what Android version your smartphone is currently running, you can enter the Android settings menu, and click on “About device.” Anything Android 4.1 or higher is Jelly Bean.
On April 12th, Facebook Home will be be available in the Google Play store, alongside all the other Facebook applications. On first launch, users will be asked if they want to run Facebook Home just once, or always, which makes it easy to give the new interface a try before officially making the switch.
Starting on April 12th, a Facebook Home download prompt will also start appearing in the official Facebook app, for users who meet the hardware and software requirements. Users can install Facebook Home directly from the Facebook app, or dismiss the message from their Newsfeed and continue using Facebook as usual.
Whether Facebook Home is superior to current Android launchers remains to be seen, but users addicted to the social platform will definitely want to try out these new and deeper Android integration.