FB unveils Home

SOCIAL GOING MOBILE: In a dog-and-pony show yesterday at Facebook’s Silicon Valley campus, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled Home, new software for the Android OS that gives Facebook content top placement on smartphones, the Wall Street Journal explains. Instead of displaying a phone's traditional menu of apps, Home takes over a handset's cover screen—the first layer or images that appear when a phone is turned on—populating it with posts from a user's news feed, photos and friend messages. Home will come preinstalled on a new smartphone from HTC and will be available a week from today (4/12) to download from Google's app store for use on other new Android phones, including the Samsung Galaxy and HTC One series. The software acts less like a single app than a collection of them stitched into the top layer of Android. Zuckerberg called it "a whole lot deeper than any other app." Upon turning on a smartphone, a user will see images from Facebook updates cover the entire screen, while pertinent text and icons of friends float on the top. Home also features a tool called "Chat Heads." It pops up small icons of friends when they send a Facebook or text message, which can be viewed when using another app. Key Facebook tools, such as photos, status updates and check-ins, are also embedded at the top of the launcher as buttons. "You're going to be able to turn your Android phone into a great social phone," said Zuckerberg. "It becomes the home of your phone." (4/5a)

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