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Facebook Home Update Includes a Customizable Lock Screen with Notifications

Facebook Home

Facebook Home, the Facebook-made replacement launcher for Android devices, has been controversial (to put it mildly) ever since launch. Many lamented the fact that it wasn’t nearly as functional as other launchers, lacking features as simple as folder creation, usable widgets, and an app dock. Others, concerned about the potential for data collection, warned it could track users’ every move and herald the coming of hyper-targeted advertisements.

Regardless, Facebook Home hasn’t exactly been a runaway success, so the company continues to respond to feedback and tweak the app accordingly. In a recent update, for example, significant (and welcome) changes to the lock screen UI were made.

Specifically, a scroll of Facebook notifications and phone info (e.g., missed calls) occupy the space below the revamped clock, which now includes weather data. A swipe to the left brings up Cover Feed (also accessible via a configurable shortcut), and a settings option allows users to change the wallpaper.

06-home-settings-main 05-home-notifications

Despite Facebook’s attempts to make Home a more palatable alternative to popular launchers, I can’t see it truly taking off anytime soon. Though a lot more cohesive than it was initially, the app is still an experience focused on social rather than utility. Many, myself included, believe launchers should focus on function over form, and leave the rest to applications. Until Home begins to offer functionality that’s truly innovative and not derivative, it’ll always be relegated to a niche userbase of the Facebook-obsessed.

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  • http://www.geordienorman.com/ George Byers

    Well, the new version of home seems to grasp the face that nobody wants to see memes on their home screen. But then again, it seems that Facebook is now in the launcher business rather than a Facebook centric experience, which doesn’t really make any sense. I think they should just kill home and improve the Facebook app for android, it’s in dire need of a facelift, it has an ios6 look to to it. The Facebook app for ios7 got a native design, so why do we not get a holo version of Facebook for android!

  • Ryan B

    Are they going to unveil it with The World’s Second Facebook Phone?! I can’t wait until there is ads on my lock screen!!

  • IDLE0095

    Doesnt support android 4.3

  • Droid Ronin

    Chat Heads was the only good thing that came out of Facebook Home.

  • CHRIS42060

    I am curious how many people actually use this one a daily basis.

    • paul_cus

      My sister used to because she has the First. Eventually she got tired of it though, and now just keeps it turned off.

      • CHRIS42060

        HTC First owners are the only people I can think who would use it.

  • Cesar

    Facebook Home still exists?

  • Ayush

    I installed the APK and used MoDaCo Toolkit to make sure it identifies as supported, and I must say I really do like the lock screen a lot. I’m using it simultaneously with the Google Experience Launcher, and the combination of the two is nice.

  • David Dudovitz

    I’m suprised this wasn’t the bust of the year along with the HTC First re: Droid Life 45.

  • Ej McCarty

    Shutup kyle (in Cartman’s voice)

    • http://twitter.com/tarund TarunD

      Or…

      “Shut the #$&% up, Donnie!”

      • Adrynalyne

        There has been a Big Lebowski marathon on cable all month. Watched it like 5 times, LOL.

  • mustbepbs

    Will Bailey is a strange, strange looking dude.

  • subiedude85

    Couldn’t use it even if I wanted too. I own 5 android devices and it is incompatible with all of them. I guess I’m off the hook for the “don’t knock it till you’ve tried it”

  • 918273645ams

    Yes! An update to my fav launcher! I love everything facebook. Facebook is amazing guys. Anyone who doesn’t use this launcher sure is missing out. /s

    • BigTimmay

      I really like your app. It runs really smooth and enjoy the experience overall. Keep it up!!

    • Maxim∑

      Missing out on the GPE launcher

  • Boblank84

    this is about as exiting as isis mobile wallet updates.

    • Ej McCarty

      I’m thinking about exciting this site.

      • Mark2134

        Are you going to tell jokes to the site to excite it?

        • Adrynalyne

          I dunno, but I wanna hear about this exiting…who is leaving?

          • Ej McCarty

            Ron :) one can dream

  • Adam Truelove

    Please tell me no one actually uses this.

    • Adrynalyne

      Its my favorite launcher, what are you talking about?!

      • Ej McCarty

        /s

        • Adrynalyne

          Oops, did I forget that?

          :p

    • Fozzybare

      unless you have a galaxy or a one…you cannot install it without sideloading….so im guessing not many people use it.

      • Adam Truelove

        Even if they could install it, why would you?

        • Chris

          why would you install any launcher? CHOICE. its what makes android… android…

          Not that I would use this one

        • Andrew T Roach

          I’d rather use this than TouchWiz. At least it uses modern design language instead of looking and performing like Gingerbread.