Mark Zuckerberg didn’t go as far as announcing a new Android fork for smartphones during a special event, as we predicted. Instead, the CEO of Facebook unveiled an application called Facebook Home that brings feed from the social network to the home page of Android smartphones.
A straight analogy would be that of a screensaver on Windows that offer the ability to configure (and in effect deliver) notifications, pictures, photos and messages on the main screen of the smartphone rather than through an app.
Indeed, the rolling feed will hide the existing Facebook app and divert all the content and chat straight to the home screen. Facebook Home will also introduced a new, more intuitive form of social messaging where users reply by tapping on pop-up images known as chat heads. Check the video of Facebook Home below to see how it looks like.
Facebook’s head honcho said that while it made sense to click on a desktop icon to access an application, it was less obvious when it comes with mobile devices with a touchscreen.
"Now there's a new use case that's more and more important," Zuckerberg quipped. "We have our phones with us all the time and we want to know more what's happening to our friends."
The application, which has been described as a wrapper, will be available via Google Play as a download from 12 April in America and will roll worldwide later on.
It will only work on smartphones running Android 4.0 ICS or higher and tablets will be part of the offer later on (although technically nothing prevents them from running Home).
No details also as to whether it will come to desktop PCs with touchscreen displays, Windows Phone, iOS, Blackberry 10 and other platforms.
The smartphone to run Facebook Home Phone will be the HTC First which will be exclusively available in the US on AT&T and will come to the UK on EE, also as an exclusivity.