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Video: Quick Look at Facebook Home New Features – Chat Heads, Notifications, and Cover Feed


Facebook has announced all sorts of goodies today, from their new Home launcher to the HTC First (aka Facebook Phone). We’ll continue to bring you coverage throughout the day, including the hands-on time that Tim is on the scene getting at the moment. As he works on preparing that for us all, we thought we’d share a couple of videos that AT&T just posted to quickly recap some of the new features that are included with Home. 

They show you how Cover feed works, a feature that is a constantly up-to-date as a fresh stream of photos and activities from your friends’ newsfeeds. They also talk notifications and how you can group them together after viewing or interacting to quickly hide them away. Last, they show off Chat heads, which is like an multi-tasking chat application and ongoing conversation list that floats over the top of your current activity so that you aren’t interrupted.

  • Cover feed: A constant, fresh stream of photos and updates from your newsfeed, cover feed is always present when you wake up your phone.  It lets you stay up-to-date on your friends’ latest activities in real-time, all the time.  You can swipe through to see more photos and updates, double tap to “like” a post and comment right from cover feed.  To learn more about cover feed, check out this video.
  • Notifications: Notifications from apps and friends appear right on your home screen.  It’s easier to see when you have a missed call, calendar reminder or new message. Open a notification with a double tap or clear them away to see your Cover Feed.  To learn more about notifications, check out this video.
  • Chat Heads: The mobile messenger lets you jump in and out of conversations while you do other things, like watch a video and browse the web.  Reply right from chat heads, or move them around if you’re not ready to respond. Plus you can send and receive texts and Facebook messages from the same spot.  To learn more about chat heads, check out this video.
  • App Launcher:  See your favorite apps and post right to Facebook from the same spot. You choose what’s on your app launcher—press and hold an app then drag it anywhere.
  • Instagram:  HTC First is the only phone that comes with Instagram pre-loaded.

Facebook Home Promo


Cover Feed


Chat Heads





LauncherNotifications (1)Chat-Head-ThreadChat-Head-Preview

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  • Chat heads would be a really cool ROM feature to see for SMS alone, not SMS and facebook. Id use it.

  • joejoe5709

    I’m sure they readers of this site (myself included) are reviled by such a thing, but mark my words… they’ll sell thousands of these things. And perhaps in a strange way, it’s a great step for Android. I think this is a great way for beginners to get acclimated with an Android-esque environment. Heck… it’s better than having them wander to the iFruit side of things. If my old fashioned parents ever got interested in a smartphone, I might recommend something like this to start them off with.

  • anezarati

    seems like there is too much emphasis on other people’s pictures in facebook home. i dont want stupid pics from my friends as the background of my phone.

  • Chris Batson

    How long before someone rips the chatheads feature out and makes it a standalone app?

  • The “chat from anywhere” overlay thing is pretty cool actually.

  • calculatorwatch

    If I got this I’d have to change my profile pic to some cool design instead of my face. Seriously, does FB think everyone is so narcissistic that they want to see a tiny picture of their face every time they wake up their phone?

    Some of the features do look pretty cool, but like many others my facebook feed isn’t that exciting that I want to be constantly bombarded with it.

    • randy

      are you ugly or something?

      • calculatorwatch

        My mom says I’m handsome!! haha jk I just like my phone to look cool, and I know if I saw someone with a picture of themselves as their background or something I would be like wow what a toolbag.

      • calculatorwatch

        Also refer to the fourth article after this one where the picture is the guy’s face on top of another guy’s crotch to understand why I think it looks ridiculous.

  • DainLaguna

    The first vid showcases everything annoying with smartphone use. I don’t want friends that rude.

    This is interesting….but I’ll be passing.

    Work on your apps first before trying to take over my whole phone zuck.

  • Scott Nezos

    If you need that on your phone, you need to disconnect every now and again, and get a life.

  • Daniel

    For everyone who is so impressed by the chatheads, you should check out the SMS popup feature of Handcent SMS, which allows you to reply to an sms over whatever else, including the lock screen, without going into the app.

  • jb

    “Instagram: HTC First is the only phone that comes with Instagram pre-loaded.”

    – for those who don’t know how to download apps

  • Ghee Buttersnaps

    “Instagram: HTC First is the only phone that comes with Instagram pre-loaded.”

    Because, you know, it’s like, really, really hard to find it and download from the Play Store for the other phones…

    • Eion

      Hipsters have no time to download from the play store! Their filtered lives must be quickly presented

  • Seems like a cool concept, but the fact that my Facebook friends just share pictures of their breakfast and Youtube songs just makes this completely pointless…I am tired of seeing the typical user stories these social networks are using…Not everyone has a rock climbing friend who posts pictures on their wall all the time….

  • David Caccavo

    only thing that would be nice for Android to incorporate is a Chat Heads type feature. It could be nice to respond to a text without leaving whatever app im in.

    • Larizard

      AOKP Quick reply lets me do that. I think there is no need for stock Android to add something like Chat Heads. They just need to expand the functionality of the notification shade even further (or copy what other ROMs are doing out there).

  • moelsen8

    i think chatheads is the only major takeaway here. that’s a pretty nice feature. would be nice if any communication app could use it, and if it was separate from the launcher itself.

    • J. Gilbertson

      People who still play Angry Birds will be pissed when they try to toss a chat head

  • hfoster52

    Google Now + Google+ = Could beat this.

  • Have they release the device requirements for this?

    • DainLaguna

      Only that the htc one and gs4 will get it. So will the one x/x+ and gs3. The requirements can’t be that bad, given what the htc first is running spec wise.

      Oh and a true love for Facebook

      • I was just mainly curious about older devices. Like the GNex and the Nex4. Well “older” devices.

  • atari37

    So, Facebook just did something that a lot of Android users have been asking Samsung, HTC, Motorola, etc to do for years now? What is that you ask?

    Release TouchWiz, Blur, etc as a download or home replacement and have the user pick which launcher to use. I am not a Facebook fan but I’m very impressed with this project. People who love it will eat it up and people who don’t care (like myself) can simply use their default launchers.

    • DainLaguna

      What we have been asking is for them to offer a skin and then a stock experience…not this.

      • atari37

        This is a skin on top of stock or Touchwiz, Blur (probably dead thanks to google), etc.

        They plan on releasing the app for several phones in the near future so I can basically have this on my Nexus device. Samsung can easily make a phone with stock Android/TouchWiz and let the user choose.

        • Aaron17Watson17

          You guys seem to be misunderstanding something. Touchwiz , sense etc are not skins. A skin is a theme you download from the play store. But sense and touchwiz are completely different versions of android that change how the os functions. Just clearing that up

          • atari37

            Sense, etc are not completely different versions of Android. They are heavily integrated skins running on top of Android. I never said they were just skins.

            My point is that, they can make their UI (if you want to call it that) less integrated or more like this new launcher from Facebook. They can still add a gazillion features into a launcher (ask the Apex and Nova developers) that modify both UI and settings without sacrificing much. I know this because most of the fancy apps Samsung adds to TouchWiz can be stripped and installed on phone with different UI (stock or sense). S-Beam and Smart Stay are not dependent on TouchWiz.

            Note: I was just trying to make a point. Didn’t mean to Hijack a Facebook post.

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  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    It actually looks pretty interesting. I’d check it out once it’s out.

  • None of the people I know on FB take even halfway decent photos. Why would I want their crap on my homescreen?

    • moelsen8

      i was thinking the same thing during the event. i don’t want their sh*t photos all over my homescreen.

    • I want more demon eyes and white balance issues to be front and center on my phone!

    • Mike_Cook7

      Guess I will have to unfriend all the cat people I know….

  • What? They couldn’t fix the Facebook for Android application? I want something other than 3rd party Holo UI inspired apps!

  • Steve Benson

    Yup, this just solidified it, I’ll never touch this.

  • Bob

    That phone looks nothing like the iPhone…

  • Austin Warren

    I can see people saying “Hey, look, Facebook software on an iPhone”.