Facebook Home has elicited a lot of differing opinions in the Android community. What people love about the open Google OS is suddenly stripped away in favor of a full screen Facebook experience—and nothing more. When you use Mark Zuckerberg’s cozy new home, you concede your device. It’s unlike anything out there.
Home isn’t an OS, and it isn’t something that wants to share your attention with other apps. Mark Zuckerberg said he wants our addiction to apps to fade away—now your smartphone is about people: friends, family, acquaintances and old flings. No more widgets, or folders or any other Android favorites. Your lock/home screen is now all about Home, and Home only.
Such an enormous change like that will take some getting used to. If you’re not an obsessive Facebook user, Home’s control of your device will be off-putting, and definitely annoying. If you have a consistent smartphone routine of widgets and calendars and other tweaks, Home will completely change how you interact with your device. That’s exciting, and also infuriating.
Mark Zuckerberg has promised to roll out updates frequently to Facebook Home, so we can expect a constantly evolving experience. For a first attempt, Home achieves what was promised: a full-screen Facebook experience all about people, not apps. Whether people will be willing to hand over that amount of control, and see some of Android’s biggest characteristics stripped away, is certainly asking a lot. But it definitely adds a new level of immersion that really reinvigorates how people interact with the social network, which is an achievement in of itself.
Disclaimer: We received an HTC First review unit from AT&T. We used Facebook Home on that device for four and a half days before beginning this review.