Facebook on Thursday unveiled a software suite which stakes out a “home” on Android smartphones. It is social network suite of software that integrates to HTC and Samsung phones powered by the latest versions of Android to focus experiences on “people and not apps.”
Facebook called the new software “a new way to turn your Android phone into a great, living, social phone.”
“Home is a completely new experience that lets you see the world through people, not apps,” Facebook said.
The software, which allows users to see Facebook first when they turn on their phones, will be available for download from Google’s online Play shop in the United States starting April 12, Zuckerberg said.
A version should be available in Europe in coming months, according to Facebook, which said it is in the process of tailoring “Home” for tablet computers.
Home will be available through Taiwan-based electronics firm HTC, which will launch its Facebook home-screen smartphone called HTC First, to be available through US carrier AT&T.
Zuckerberg demonstrated how a user would start with Facebook on the home screen and be able to navigate and switch back and forth between apps, and simultaneously send and receive messages through “chat heads” which are overlaid on the screen.
Analyst Trip Chowdhry said the new software is a potentially “groundbreaking experience” which could help Facebook compete with Google in the market for mobile advertising.
“Since Facebook is not imitating, they will carve a leadership position,” he said, adding that “Google missed a huge opportunity in social mobile phones.”