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Facebook Launches "Home" For Android 138

Nerval's Lobster writes "Facebook has announced "Home" for Android smartphones (and, eventually, tablets). It's something less than a full Facebook mobile operating system, as some expected before the company's presentation, and more like an app update. Facebook also announced the Facebook Home Program, which will work with several carriers and device makers to pre-load Home onto select devices, including ones built by Samsung, Sony, ZTE, and Lenovo. The first "Home" phone will be the HTC First, a $99.99 phone that will ship April 12 from AT&T. Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg told analysts and journalists assembled for his presentation that Home was designed to reorient the phone and the Facebook mobile experience around people, not apps: "On one level, Home is the next mobile version of Facebook. On the other, it's a change in the relationship with the next generation of computing devices." Home essentially is a custom start screen for your Android phone, replacing the home screen with one centered on Facebook. While users can access other Android apps on the phone, the focus is on those apps that run on the Facebook platform. Home can also be enabled as a lock screen." Reader RougeFemme points out that France Telecom/Orange will be the first carrier in Europe.
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Facebook Launches "Home" For Android

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  • Umm.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 04, 2013 @03:09PM (#43360783)
    No thank you.
    • Re:Umm.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by X0563511 ( 793323 ) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @03:10PM (#43360793) Homepage Journal

      Agreed... and fuck them for their preloading bullshit. ... and they wonder why we want to root our phones...

      • Lets put a 20MB obsolete version of the facebook app on the system partition. Then as soon as I buy the phone I'll need to download another 20MB version from the play store...
      • This. Removing the fucking Facebook virus that resisted all attempts to kill the process or opt out is why I spent most of a Saturday rooting my first Android phone.

        The type of people who want Facebook are the type that will take the 5 seconds it takes to install that garbage on their phone, so why in hell would you preload it?

    • by aralin ( 107264 )

      Not available in iOS. In related news, the smartphone share of iOS in US rose by 4% while Andriod dropped by 2%.

      • Umm..Do you realize that most of the iOS phones are being used for facebook ~25% of the time*? I don't see how an android only facebook launch-screen would raise iOS market share.

        *based on observations on the bus during my morning phones are being used for Facebook at a roughly equal percentage (but maybe it is just easier to tell when some guy at the front of the bus is on facebook when he's got a galaxy note).

    • Facebook can suck shit through a dead rats ass! I have none to negative interest in them, their crappy service, or a data mining software package that runs on my phone 24/7. Zucker can suck my pucker!
  • by concealment ( 2447304 ) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @03:11PM (#43360803) Homepage Journal

    The last 15 years of internet dominance have been neat, but it seems like all of the "inventions" are clever ways to interact with each other. Entertainment and consumer products are booming, but what actual technologies are we inventing? Or to put it another way: what opportunities have gone past while we've been inventing toys and minting teenage millionaires?

    • by SJHillman ( 1966756 ) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @03:20PM (#43360959)

      Know that tiny device in your pocket that responds to touch and lets you browse the entirety of human knowledge, play games or work from a beach in Tahiti while still letting you call Mom once a week to let her know you're alive? Yeah, that's what technology we invented in the last 15 years. If that doesn't impress you, I'm not sure what will.

      • To be honest I like what Google has done in the last 15 years: 1. Google search: there were search engines before Google, but how caching and indexing works, and relevance of the results is pretty amazing to me 2. Maps: there were other map products but Google has done a great job to make maps more responsive and easier to use 3. Email: remember when hotmail was giving you about 10 MB of space, and then Google gave you 1 GB This is just to mention a few. I am aware that Google might be the next big threat t
      • by X.25 ( 255792 )

        Know that tiny device in your pocket that responds to touch and lets you browse the entirety of human knowledge, play games or work from a beach in Tahiti while still letting you call Mom once a week to let her know you're alive? Yeah, that's what technology we invented in the last 15 years. If that doesn't impress you, I'm not sure what will.

        You don't seem to know much about technology.

        None of that has been invented in the last 15 years.

        • Ok, show me a tiny, low power multi-core processor like many smartphones have that was around in the late 90's. Show me a touchscreen that had anywhere near the sensitivity of even cheap smartphones today. Or a GPS receiver that could be shoehorned into a tiny phone without sacrificing any of the other gadgets in it. Sure, the precursors of many of today's smartphone components existed but almost nothing in a 2012 or 2013 smartphone. It's like saying cars existed in ancient Egypt because they had horses and

          • As I said above, they are improvements. Every thing you say is an improvement- low power, multi-core, touchscreen sensitivity, tiny GPS receiver. Notice all those adjectives? Then you go and say that everything you just listed already existed. You said "invented." Stop fumbling about and just admit you used the wrong word.

      • by jon3k ( 691256 )
        Unfortunately a tremendous amount of talent has also been lost to "social media" services and figuring out how to get people to look at "better" ads. Certainly we haven't completely stagnated but a huge amount of really bright people were wasted on this shit.
      • Invented, no. Improved, yes.

    • In the past, the driving force behind technology was war. These days it is the quarterly profit report. There's a lot of technology behind both efforts. The former focuses on dominatiing the enemy, the latter on selling items fast. Choose your poison.

      • I thought my phone (SGS3) was far more powerful than a 15-year old laptop, and was much, much smaller. It can also play high-def movies, navigate for me, and take decent photos. Sounds like you need a good phone, or at least play with one so you can discuss this with people who know.
      • sorry, my above reply isn't meant for you.
    • Couple quick thoughts:
      - Advanced carbon fiber manufacturing making wind power very close to an honest to goodness viable power source (I'm talking free market style...give it a few more years)
      - Better batteries that enable a normal looking and driving car to go over 200 miles on a 1 hour charge
      - Process improvements making 24" LCD screens viable for less than $200
      - The whole semiconductor industry making tech so freaking cheap
      - Probable observation of the Higgs Boson
      - Possible observation of dark matt
      • advanced stock trading algorithms allowing 1000 point market jumps and drops within milliseconds (I kid, I kid)

        I haven't seen the 1000 point jumps up yet, just the jumps down.

    • by plover ( 150551 )

      Because what most people still want is that feeling of communicating with other people, of being in the attention span of someone else: "Listen to me, for I am important and have this to say!" Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Slashdot, it's all about the people at the other end of the technology, and not the tech itself.

      The actual tech underneath is at its most amazing when it's completely invisible. So one huge growth industry has been in shrinking existing technology. It may only be evolutionary revisions

    • by jon3k ( 691256 )
      It's horribly sad when you think about it. An entire generation of engineers trying to get people to click on ads.

      (That's a poor version of a quote I heard once that'd I'd love to attribute to the source, who I can't find at the moment)
    • We've been inventing and progressing plenty. What I'd like is for tech companies to return to tech. And by that I mean companies returning to the idea of creating great products designed with me in mind, enticing me to buy those products because they meet my needs, and profiting from being the best at that. When I buy a Blu-ray player or an e-book reader, I expect devices designed to play my Blu-rays and let me read e-books, not devices that are designed to keep me from watching media from another region
  • by Anonymous Coward

    a Home phone.

    Marketing genius. E.T. phone home.

    Hey homes did you get a new Home phone? Yeah but I left it at home.

  • *goes back to work*
  • It's like razors and blades, and the users are the blades...
  • TFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 04, 2013 @03:15PM (#43360881)

    This article is just one big press release.

    From the “Home” screen, users can swipe left and right to access the user’s News Feed (now renamed “Cover Feed”). Users can comment and Like images, which are blown up to the size of the screen. Videos won’t be shown, group posts won’t show up, and there won’t be any ads—at least at first. Swiping the screen down brings up the app drawer (Android apps, said a Facebook product manager who asked not to be named) instead of apps designed to run atop the Facebook platform.

    WHy is Facebook doing this? Why do they do anything?

    What is their profit center?

    Your data. This is just a ploy to gather data about users - and it wouldn't surprise me if this app is using the GPS/Maps part of Android to get your movements.

    FB's makes their money spying on people and sharing data with marketers,

    Keep that in mind. They are a marketer's wet dream.

    • WHy is Facebook doing this? Why do they do anything?


      What is their profit center?

      Advertising and selling any personal details which you agree to in clicking through those annoying EULAS.

      Android to get your movements.

      Yes, but you need to ask yourself how that could possibly be useful to them. Answer: more advertising. Eg: if the App knows your a block from Walmart and they can stream you an instantaneous Ad for Walmart special on Cheezypoofs (they know from your purchase history on Facebook Credit Card/Gift Card that you buy cheezy poofs -- again, you clicked the EULA) Walmart will put more money into that Ad

      • no, *I* won't... but then I'm not the problem, its the millions of "ordinary" people who will, unfortunately I end up with only 1 choice of cheezypoofs as that's all they'll end up stocking thanks to my fellow idiot humans :(

          I'll truly give up when facebook starts to sponsor education (or TV, which is much the same difference for many people).

      • I would just like to add to your analysis that by controlling your phone, they can use it to figure out even those details that you did not properly enter in your Facebook profile. If your phone is not moving from 8pm to 8am at a certain address, they can calculate that your home address is now the place you were, and "helpfully" update your info. Or tell the world that you are on a business trip and not at home. Or even figure out by where your phone is during the day where you work, and reveal to the worl

    • by alen ( 225700 )

      just like your hero google?

  • Aside from the FB employees, who really wants Facebook to track his own phone calls 24x7x365..because have no doubt, they will be tracking everything through this shit

  • by Anonymous Coward

    FB phone home!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I sure hope the phones that are oriented around this app are clearly marked as such. I don't want my smartphone experience to be centered around Facebook, especially when I don't even have an account.

    I find this really disturbing:

    Home essentially is a custom start screen for your Android phone, replacing the home screen with one centered on Facebook. While users can access other Android apps on the phone, the focus is on those apps that run on the Facebook platform.

    • Well, at least 'til phone providers catch on that it's not really a feature, you may rest assured that this will be heavily advertised. At least I hope so.

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @03:26PM (#43361049)

    ...Home essentially is a custom start screen for your Android phone, replacing the home screen with one centered on Facebook....

    So everything you run on the Facebook phone-Home device is a sub-process of Facebook's snooping program. Zucky must be beside himself with all the extra data that will be collected on the Facebook sheeple.

  • by IANAAC ( 692242 ) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @03:27PM (#43361061)
    My FB usage has gone down a lot over the last year. I just can't see it going back up. I suppose the concept of "Home" is nice (even though it's just to harvest your data), but, well... I'd never use it.
  • Well, not exactly what the rumors were. It's not a phone, not an OS but just an app.
    • Why would they need to do a new OS, when they can just take over Google's one? It could be quite amusing if future Android phones end up sending more people to Facebook services than Google services.

      And there will be a phones with this built in. They're working with HTC on the first one. So you either buy a phone with it on, or download it if you already have an Android phone.

  • Wouldn't that just be cool!! To root your phone just so you can sell your soul to Zuckerberg!! Because, you know, there's just nothing about this whole idea that in any way doesn't pass the sniff test.
  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @03:29PM (#43361103)

    But I bet my sister installs this onto her phone the first hour it's available to her.

  • I uninstalled the Facebook app when I found its background service responsible for 10% of my battery life. I only ever want to use it to upload a picture or two (upload via [] on Android browsers has been broken for a while).

    I'm wondering if they've improved this at all with this Home work. In the mantime, does anybody here know of a way to specifically or generally turn off such a background process? If I kill it, it comes right back.

    • I've also had problems with photo upload via the browser. My suspicion is that they did this on purpose, to push people back onto the app.
    • by karnal ( 22275 )

      A long time ago it was broken on my WM6.5 phone; there's somewhere on Facebook's site that you can get an email address that's linked to your account. You can then just email pictures to that address and it'll post up on FB. Easy peasy.

    • Titanium Backup might be able to freeze it; I haven't given Titanium a try yet, but I've seen it recommended for various CPU-eating apps/services quite a few times.

  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @03:37PM (#43361205)
    Android lets you replace the launcher and other component parts and it looks like that is all this Facebook app is doing. Given how intrusive and battery sapping their app is, I think I'll pass.
    • by Belial6 ( 794905 )
      I just wish the phone manufacturers would follow suit. Think about how much better a Galaxy SIII would be if all the Samsung software were just apps that could be unloaded.
  • It's a Facebook app for those who treat Facebook more like crackbook. Who care's? There are thousands of different android phones out there, this one just happens to have one particular app ingrained as a theme. This phone isn't going to hurt anyone and it will benefit those who live their lives through that particular corporations product.

    Might I suggest the much more usable and robust CAT [] themed smartphone instead? At least that phone should survive any drunken friends or small children that happen to get

  • by nweaver ( 113078 ) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @03:44PM (#43361315) Homepage

    Rather than having a phone that's designed to spill everything I do to Google, I get a phone designed to spill everything I do to both Google AND Facebook. Geez, loverly.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...I probably already hate you

  • I was reading about this new Facebook home app and the thought that jumped out at me is that this is Facebook's version of the Windows 8 Metro UI. Is it Android? Or is is some new Facebook OS? As long as you stay in Facebook Home everything is wonderful. But don't worry, you can always escape back to the normal Android home screen and do everything you used to do. What could go wrong with that?
  • Being "illegal" to root ones device you send everything to third parties
    you have no business knowing who, and nothing you can do about it.

    You can opt out but that's at the desecration of the third party, only those
    living in California USA can write and request where there private info has gone.

    ADaway or any other ad blocking application can't be found as it's against Google Play TOS. []

    Android 4.2.X a

  • I think the short list of devices supported points out the lack of accelerated GFX support on many Android devices.

    Hardware vendors are missing the boat by forgetting that good hardware can make work for 50X as many software folk as hardware folk. Closed hardware specifications do not help....

    Some early versions of Android have no support for multiple cores yet MP hardware was available. Many Samsung phones lack full support of the graphics hardware. Without acceleration they were quick enough so sh

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 04, 2013 @04:19PM (#43361851)

    That is impressive. Very, very impressive.

    Not the software - that sounds mediocre at best.

    But the business plan is genius. Without having to create their own OS, they can Borg-ify the majority of existing Android phones out there. By creating their own launcher, they can bury Google features completely, if they so chose to - redirecting most ad-related Android traffic away from Google, and over to Facebook. At the same time, the small group of users who use Google+, who have likely been using the Android app as well, will (I'm guessing) find it much, much easier to post directly to Facebook.

    I can't stand Facebook - and the above sounds horrifying. But I'd put money on this being their strategy.

  • I hope you all caught the latest hagiographic articles going around the more gullible news sites - some reporter used the Wayback to look at Zs website circa 1999 and discovered that it included links to people, therefore this was the precursor to Facebook. []
  • How long until Verizon Wireless decides to pre-install this on all their phones and lock it in. They already force me to keep a bunch of apps on my phone (including Facebook's app but also including ones like NFL Mobile) which I have no interest in using. I can't remove these apps without unlocking my phone which is "illegal" now. It's not like I'd leave them if they let me remove these apps. After all, they have me locked into a contract and are, quite frankly, the best carrier in my area. I might eve

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      It seems to me, without being a dick about it, that if it bothered you enough you'd switch regardless of which you think is 'best'. I certainly wouldn't stick with a carrier who doesn't let me uninstall apps.
      • Honestly, it bothers me, but not enough to switch. Like I said, Verizon Wireless has the best coverage where I live. We also have no land line and don't want to wind up in a dead zone when we need to call 911. (We actually did have to call 911 a week after we ditched our land line. The cell phone 911 call worked perfectly.)

  • .... it had better at least update my peeps any time I'm watching pr0n on the tubes. I require constant automatic updates on my status, so people can track my highly intriguing life-style. [scratches balls]
  • A home phone that phones home? Somehow I have this hunch that I can do without. And not just 'cause I don't have a FB account.

  • Mark Zuckerberg must have inherited Steve Jobs' reality distortion field, since nobody seems to have brought up the fact that Facebook Home is essentially a blatant rip-off of Windows Phone. Put people before apps? Facebook photos on the lock screen? Status updates on the home screen? Integrated Facebook chat? Windows Phone has been doing these for years now.
  • I spend far too much time uninstalling/deleting/nuking from orbit all the crapware that comes pre-installed on a new computer. Why on FSM's green-ish earth would I BUY a device that uses crapware as the main selling point?

    They can't even 'upgrade' their Android app without breaking functionality. That's just the kind of stability I want on my cell phone. ~sarcasm~.

The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the fabricator and impossible for the serviceman.