I happened to be awake last night so I caught the announcement via livestream for Facebook Home. I’m glad its just a system launcher. There are many (I myself on my phone use Nova Launcher), but from the demo, this is beautifully designed with a new take on the interface. The demo showed it being smoother than butter ;)
Chat heads look interesting. Some may claim it being bothersome or unintuitive, but most iOS users have this already turned on via accessibility settings assistive touch since the home button breaks far too easily. Why a little white dot when you can now make it do things for you?
I was impressed with the amount of partners on launch day. Buy-in from manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, Sony, Huawei, Lenovo, ZTE, Alcatel. Chipmaker like Qualcomm. Telcos like AT&T, Orange, EE. I can only expect this to grow of course. Gives great competition in the mobile landscape for 2013.
Am I switching from iOS as my main phone? Unlikely. I’m almost certain that many at Facebook, including Zuckerberg runs on IOS. But I will be playing with this on my secondary device (the Galaxy S3). I’m a little surprised that the April 12 launch isn’t available for the Nexus set of phones… and in Asia, the Galaxy Note form factor is popular, where did that go?
HTC First will be the first device to come with the Facebook Home system launcher as a default. I’m not sure how this is different to them applying skins and admitting that Facebook does it better. This isn’t the first time they’re playing around with a Facebook phone though.
Interesting times as Facebook has confirmed that their strategy is clearly mobile first. The fact that they built this on top of Android can’t really impress Google very much ;)