Facebook Home is the new way for users to get their fill of the SNS on their Android devices, but now it has emerged that Canada will get the launcher soon after its hits the US. And while a release date for the app on the Google Play store has been set, it will only be compatible with a few handsets at first.
The launcher will introduce several new things like Cover feed, which replaces a user’s lock screen and home screen. It acts as a view into the world of friends and users can easily ‘like’ stories by double-tapping on them. Meanwhile, Chat heads makes it easy to stay in touch and reply to messages. They can be moved around on the screen and even dismissed if they prove annoying.
MobileSyrup, in a chat with Facebook’s Director of Product Marketing, Ami Vora, was able to clarify a few things about the Home launcher. First of all, even though the initial rollout will be limited – restricted to just the US and only a few devices – it will be quickly released in other countries, with Canada poised to receive it in a matter of days or weeks, rather than months.
There will also be a few constraints when it comes to using the app on devices other than the HTC First. The most significant of these has something to do with the way in which notifications are integrated. Since Android doesn’t have APIs for the same, those using the launcher on other devices will only see incoming messages and the like from the SNS on their Cover feed. Regular messages will still appear in the drop-down bar on the top.
This might inconvenience users, but it has been made known that the Home app will allow access to the default Android notifications menu with a swipe down from the top of the screen. Something else that might be bothersome is that ads are scheduled to eventually make it to the stream and will be targeted, just like the ones currently in users’ News Feed on the site.
Facebook Home is set for a launch on April 12 on the HTC First, while the app will be available for a few other handsets including the Samsung Galaxy S3, the Galaxy Note 2, the HTC One X and the One X+, as well as for the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, when they are released.