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Facebook Announces ‘Home’: A New Social Lock Screen Replacement for Android

Facebook Announces ‘Home’: A New Social Lock Screen Replacement for Android

Following numerous rumors that Facebook would announce a new Android-based operating system, or even a Facebook-branded phone, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg today announced something completely different: Facebook Home – a fancy social lock screen replacement for Android devices.

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Despite the fact that Zuckerburg began his presentation by saying he didn’t want to “exclude” anyone (“We want to build the best experience for every person, on every phone.”), he immediately excluded a huge chunk of users by ignoring Apple’s iOS platform completely, instead focusing on a redesigned Android lock screen.


So, what exactly is Facebook Home? Here’s what Facebook’s official introduction page has to say:

Today we’re introducing Home – a new way to turn your Android phone into a great, living, social phone. We all want to share and connect. That’s how we discover new information and build meaningful relationships. But today, phones are built around tasks and apps. To see what’s happening with your friends, you pull out your phone and navigate through a series of separate apps.

We asked ourselves ­if sharing and connecting are what matter most, what would your phone be like if it put your friends first? Our answer is Home. Home isn’t a phone or operating system, and it’s also more than just an app. Home is a completely new experience that lets you see the world through people, not apps.

Basically, Home is a collection of apps designed to replace Android’s home screen with a more social Facebook-branded one, while still allowing you to access your Android apps. It’s all built around the Facebook experience, with a live social feed, notifications, a new “chat heads” messaging system, and more.

Facebook Home will be available for free from the Android App Store on April 12 – but only for select Android devices. A full list can be viewed at Facebook’s announcement page. That was a whole lot of built-up hype for what amounts to little more than a fancy new Android app that takes over your phone…

Facebook has also partnered with HTC to launch an underpowered smartphone called the HTC First, which will be available for $99 on a 2-year contract with AT&T.