It's here, its official and its shining! Yes! Finally all speculations' drama has come to an end, Facebook has launched its new Android based mobile operating system Home, which the social network claims as the new way to turn your Android phone into a great, living, social phone. According to the company's press release, Facebook Home is the first mobile experience designed to give you your friends' latest updates right on your home screen and messages that reach you no matter what you are doing.
Further, to give users a feel of the new revolutionary platform, Facebook has teamed up with HTC to launch the highly anticipated and rumored HTC First. Currently, it is the first and only smartphone built to feature Facebook Home.
As touted at the company's event today, HTC First will be available in four colors including black, white, red and pale blue. The hardware of the new smartphone is thin, modern and seamless, with soft edges to draw your attention to the updates from friends and family on the 4.3-inch glass display.
Inside, the smartphone runs Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) with the new Facebook Home experience and incorporates a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with dual-core CPU and 3G/4G world and multimode LTE. Right now, HTC First - the official Facebook phone has been launched in US right now, and will be available for pre-order from today for $99.99 with a two-year commitment in the country's leading telecom network AT&T stores and online starting April 12.
To give you more information, Facebook Home will bring News Feed to the surface, immediately giving the content required on the home screen, when you turn on your phone without having to open an app or access a mobile website. Just sign into your Facebook account and begin using Home - no need for download or configuration.
In addition, Facebook Home connects you directly with your friends, whether it's their real-time updates and newest photo uploads being streamed on your cover feed or the ability to chat with friends without jumping in and out of apps.
As far as Facebook Home is concerned, below are the following features integrated in the new customised Android based mobile operating system.
• 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.
"HTC has a track record of providing beautiful hardware design, and of being first-to-market with smartphone innovations," said Peter Chou, CEO, HTC Corporation. "The HTC First continues that track record, providing AT&T customers with a unique home experience that puts a user's friends and family at the center of their mobile experience."
"Home is a completely new experience for your phone," said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's Founder and CEO. "With Home available right out of the box, you're getting the best quality experience for connecting with your friends."
For those, who do not own an HTC First, the Facebook Home will be available in the form of an app to download from Google Play store, starting April 12 itself. However, initially only 6 devices, HTC One, HTC One X+, Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 3 and HTC First will support the new Facebook Home app.
Meanwhile, it was also announced at the event that in the coming months, global tech manufacturers including Samsung, Sony, Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo, and ALCATEL ONE TOUCH have already signed up with the social network to come up with phones with Facebook Home pre-installed. Stay tuned to GizBot for more updates.