Facebook Home

Launcher brings your friends' posts to you quicker (and prettier) than ever

OK, boys and girls. Now's the time to see what all the fuss is about over this Facebook Home thing. As promised, it's now available in the United States, for free, from the Google Play Store. (It's actually still propagating in Google Play as we write this. If you don't see it immediately, hang tight. It's coming.)

If you've somehow missed all the hullabaloo over the past week, Facebook Home is part custom launcher, part messaging client -- and all Facebook. You install it and get your friends Facebook posts front and center, in a nicely designed sort of lock screen called "cover feed." Then there's the "chat heads" messaging system -- it went live this morning in the Facebook Messenger app which pops up your friends profile pictures in little persistent bubbles. The traditional Facebook application is still there, of course.

Officially, Facebook Home only is available for the Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 2, and the HTC One, One X and One X+. But we'll see what else we get it up and running on.

For more, see our Facebook Home and HTC First FAQ.


Reader comments

Facebook Home now available for download


Not a fan so far - might be just a tab too much FB for me.

Took a few tries to get the installer going - AT&T GS3

I do love the bobble head messaging though!!

Uninstalled it - did not enjoy the experience it brought to my phone

Same here. Basically it just looked like blowing up facebook posts with a big background.

On my htc one x, on wifi, I found it to be much slower than working with the regular facebook app...

Also do not see attraction of using it as a launcher. I'll give it a couple of days but already set the home default back the other way (it seems to have taken over the lockscreen)...

Loving the chat heads feature so far!!!! HTC One X with the latest viperxl rom everything works. even integrated with my sms messages and both sms and mms works flawlessly!!!

as of right now (Phil mentioned it might not show for now), when i tick enable facebook home, it takes me to the app store. click on install, but it gives me an error....how the app cant be found. Will update as soon as i am able to install.

Yeah...it is NOT up in the store. Every tech website pulled the trigger to quickly and breaking this story. For future reference, check your links before posting.

Link works fine for me. Of course the Play Store is saying that the app is incompatible with all of my devices: Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, Motorola Xoom, and DROID 4.

I don't really want it anyway, so it's no loss to me. I might try the Chat Heads feature in the Messenger app.

I was unable to find Facebook Home in the Play Store via normal web and mobile searches.
The link that was posted in this article linked me directly to the application on the Play Store.

If you hit the link from Facebooks "Home" website and then choose install from the web version of the play store, it will install.

Why in the world would anyone WANT this? Will they want the facebook mind implant as well? Go, live your life..says the random person on the internet

Ok...I see now the link works. Tried it on my S3 and really NOT impressed. I will give it a whirl this weekend but if you ask me now if I going to uninstall it, my answer would be YES!

agreed not a fan of FacebookHome, and turned it off to go back to Nova Prime. However I am diggin Chat Heads!

Wow that is crap; but I could see my wife using it. Checking Facebook is the very first thing she does when she wakes up in the morning and she's on it pretty much the rest of the day as well.

It'll be good for a small subset of users but I see it used much less than the regular Facebook app.

I said I would give it a shot and I did, it is not for me. Constantly seeing pixelized pictures as my wallpapers is reason enough for me not to use it. It feels really really dumbed down. I am sure there are some facebook addicts out there that will like it but thats not me. Oh and the way the App drawer is situated, bad just bad. Moral of the story...

Yeah, I really don't understand the app drawer. Does anyone know how the screens are choosen? I have 4 screens with different amounts of apps on each one and then one with All Apps. I don't get it.

This is my unscientific theory but it looks like the apps are the ones that folks put on their screen next to widgets. Where there are gaps are the spots where there used to be widgets. Also, if there are too many apps for one screen, it discards them (like if you used folders).

Aren't the chat heads supposed to work with SMS? I'm only getting them when fb messages come up. That's the only good part of this whole thing.

Locked to just the Officially supported devices when Side Loaded.

I side Loaded it here in the UK on my SIII Mini, it loads but says my device isn't supported :(

It works guys. In the US. Search it in the play store. It is a bit ways down on the search. Chat heads do work with SMS as well. Been using it all morning instead of my SMS application. Works great. Also using a one x. I'm sure you have to have one of the phones listed for everything to work properly.

So is the consensus so far that this is only supported on AT&T-branded devices AND only devices with a minimum of 720p resolution?

I was asking, not declaring. So it seems to be compatible with certain Samsung and HTC devices (per the published list), regardless of carrier, and (assuming the Dell Streak user was correct in his assertions that it works on his device) perhaps other AT&T-branded devices?

Well, I'm sure there is no technical reason why it shouldn't work on any device. Any "incompatibility" is surely artificially imposed by Facebook and/or AT&T.

Fan of chatheads not so much of home... I have an android cuz I like the home screen customization... Widgets and such. Would be a great lock screen replacement. But not a fan of it as my launcher.

I'm using it only as the lock screen......I have my home set as default on my GS3 ......it seams to go through the same posts very time I wake my phone up. Gonna give it a couple of days. Messaging heads is a must though, really digging that feature

I'm not liking it on my Sprint S3. It replaced my lockscreen with the Facebook home, now it really isn't locked. I didn't have a PW (my phone never leaves my side) but it's weird that all I have to do is tap the power button and I can move screen to screen. I turned it off for now, I will play with it more over the weekend, but as previous comments say, I'd uninstall if asked today.

This is an excellent point. I've noticed the same thing but I'm going to try to leave it alone for about an hour or so to see if the default option gets enabled.

I installed it for about 3 minutes. Not my thing. A lock screen widget would be better for android 4.2 instead of dumbing down the whole stock launcher, whatever you use.

Can't get home to run on my rooted ATT One X (CM10). Downloads and installs from the play store fine, but when I open the app it says my device isn't supported. Custom roms must not be supported?

Oh well, all I really wanted was the Chat Heads anyways and the Messanger app gives me that. Digging the new messenger enough with Chat Heads that I might just make it my full time SMS app.

I can download it on my Note 2 (running best international ROM) but when i run it it says its not compatible with my device.

I was able to see it in the Facebook Messenger app. But I didn't check to see if the setting was there before I installed Facebook Home.

No chat heads for Galaxy Note 2.
And they forgot the most important reason why we have a phone, to make calls. Wish they made that one of the shortcut options instead of needing to add it as a shortcut ourselves.

I bet Zuck had to do this crap to get into more mobile hands or face early retirement from the shareholders. Either way, I feel sorry for the FB addicts that "just" has to spend their whole day chattin' it up with potential pedophiles. I'm so glad I'm married to a woman that hates FB...!!

I was agreeing up until you started talking about pedos ... what is wrong with you man?!?

This is your association : Pedos are on Facebook so all Facebook users are potential pedos? Nice logic you got going ... hey guess what : Kiwis are hairy. I am hairy. But I'm not a kiwi...

Can we flag comments out here?

Wow! Who pissed in your corn flakes? Good for you and your wife. If you don't like social networks, that's your choice. While I can take Facebook or leave it, the fact is a lot of my friends use it. I personally prefer Google+. Either way, I wouldn't insult them (or anyone else) by calling the people they chat with "potential pedophiles".

I understand that "all" social networks work about the same. It's just that there are many more that use facebook. With that said....

A wife of a friend at work spent most of her day on FB chattin' it up. Well come to find out, she was sleeping with 3 different men she met on FB. One of the men she was doing started stalking their 12 year old daughter to the point where she wouldn't leave the house. Yeah, and the police were involved but nothing they could really do so he roams free. So I have a hatred for FB and all that "have" to have it crammed so far in their ass, they bleed chatheads.....

This is Facebooks fault... how?

I dislike FB as much as anyone, but I dislike them because they pulled a 180 on their TOS and their personal data policies. Not because some dippy friend made bad decisions.

There aren't "many more" pedophiles that use FB, it's just one social medium. It happens to be THE largest one, so of course there will probably be more numbers wise than there are on others, but that doesn't mean there are a higher percentage there, which is what you're implying.

You should also have hatred for cars, guns, knives, alcohol ...

As a matter of fact, many mans were hanged, so you should hate all ropes too. Maybe trees, since the platform is usually made of woods. Oh oh and the earth it self! So the structure can stand on it. Gravity...

That story is truly sad, but the only thing to hate is the jerk who stalked the daughter. FB has nothing to do with it.

Or are we into the greatest troll I've seen today? o_O

If not, my humanity is hurt.

Well, I'm sorry that you and your family/friends/associates had this trouble in your lives. You have every right to feel however you wish to feel. With that said, if you're looking for someone to blame, then blame the persons responsible for using poor judgement (i.e. your friend's wife) and the individual that committed the crime (stalker).

That's part of the problem society faces today. No one wants to put the blame where it truly belongs: on personal responsibility for one's own actions. The fact that your friend's wife cheated on him and brought danger into their lives has nothing to do with Facebook or any other social network. Facebook was just a communication tool that SHE misused. If not Facebook, she would have used the personals in a newspaper or a cell phone or a neighborhood bar, etc.

People want to blame technology for their (or their friend's) poor decisions in life. That's a crock of BS. If your friend's wife had met the stalker at the library, would you want to close the doors to all libraries? Get real.

But you go ahead and feel however you wish to. I'm sure you've convinced yourself that Facebook and anything like it is "The Devil" and people are sheep that are absolved of any personal responsibility even though they chose to misuse a communication tool.

Big security risk if you install it. From the lockscreen, Facebook Home will automatically launch and people can either comment or like unwanted posts. Beware of leaving your phones unattended with friends...

Not compatible with Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, Nexus 4... actually kind of relieved... my Nexuses, Nexi... whatever, they protect me from this garbage app! Thanks Google!

If I was being forced to use an iPhone and this was available on iOS, I would probably like it. But this completely destroys everything that makes Android awesome. No widgets, stupid boring interface, no customization, and like others have mentioned it feels dumbed down. I tried it for a few minutes and it just was painful to look at. I have people on Facebook that post closeups of themselves constantly and I would hate for my Wife to catch a passing glimpse or pick up my phone and wonder why I had their photo as my wallpaper. I think my mom would like it, but I fear the day my facebook-addicted Sister in Law gets this.

Ironically enough, it also highlights the flexibility that Android give and iOS denies its users. iPhone will lose users over this (not many, but some), while Android users shrug and move on, content in knowing they have a choice and glad they're not stuck with something like this or iOS.

I'd say the complete opposite. Facebook Home shows the customization that can be done with Android, while keeping all the Android goodies. The whole launcher is basically one big widget, and unlike other developers, they're trying to do something completely different to get you emerged in content right away. If you're not a facebook lover, this clearly isn't for you, but people who love something want it to be the cover of their phone, what they and the people around them see all the time.

Today has reminded me why i hate Facebook. I installed the new Facebook and Messenger apps about 10 times and i still dont have chat heads option. Then i download this Facebook Home apk and i can't even use this on my Galaxy Nexus. WTF. Why the hell would you release an app with such a low compatability count?

played with it. Then uninstalled it. not a fan of it being a overlay on top of my launcher. I like it as a separate app instead.

I have to say after playing with it I am not a huge fan of the interface and I think it actually restricts many options of the phone. However, I do like the chat head options and the ability to jump between different messages. All I did was keep Touchwiz as my main launcher and now I get the chat bubbles without having to use Facebook Home. A win in my book.

Working on my N4 with Modaco's patched version. Basically, it's another launcher and not very good one. It's great for the fb die hards and nothing else. I am trying to get chat heads working, maybe Paul (Modaco) will find a way to patch things.

I think the chatheads is the only thing interesting that came with the updates. Other than that, I'm back to my Nova. FB Home has a lot to improve especially when widgets or folders not being available :)

Tried it for 30mins and got fed up having to reading the crap people I know had posted each time I used my phone not to mention it hampered accessing basic phone features meaning I had to keep looking through the app drawer for phone or contacts icons.

Won't be installing it again.

Thanks to all the "great" reviews and all you "brave" testers out there, I'm not even going to bother installing it. Chatheads are kinda cool, though. Too bad you can't put them exactly where you want them.

i was going to try it until i saw the reviews. Pretty bad start which means the HTC first isn't much of a difference than the launcher. Its's just in your face all the time. Having the app is good enough.Not sure why you need a phone for only one social network that collects your data even easier than ever.

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I really like the design of the HTC First, and since you can disable Facebook Home, do you think it would make a great smartphone for non-Facebook users? My current phone is ICS and a single-core, with only around 350mb of RAM and a 480p screen. I'm really anti-cases and my current phone doesn't require one, my Nexus 7 doesn't and my laptop is quite strong too, so I just throw them in my bag when I go to school, or in my phones' case in my pocket.

Mathias...I would recommend you spend just a little more money a get something like the HTC One or SGS4... You'll probably be much happier in the long run.