Facebook Home now (unofficially) available for almost any Android device

Despite an early leak on Monday, once again the internet lit-up with chatter about the release of Facebook Home in the Google Play store. All good and well if you find yourself in the right place with the right phone, but what about everyone else? Unsurprisingly, the digital door staff (read, Facebook's hardware restrictions) have already been dispatched, meaning almost any Android device can download and install the social software. We can thank Paul O'Brien at MoDaCo for doing the honors, and for those interested, the process is pretty simple. If your issue is location (rather than device) you'll need the latest version of Facebook's regular and Messenger apps first. Once you do, just download the APK, activate it, and you're good. If hardware is the barrier, then you'll need to get the patched versions of Facebook, Messenger and Home (via the source). Early reports suggest that most features operate just fine, but that sending SMS from Messenger can sometimes stop working. If that's a deal-breaker, you'll have to keep an eye out for updates. If it's not, then tap the source up for the full lowdown. If you do, head back here and let us know how you got on.

[Source: Engadget]

Facebook Home hits Google Play today, available for select Android devices

Chat heads, a virtual carousel of full screen (Instagram) images and enough status updates to let you keep close stalkerly tabs on your nearest and dearest -- that's what Facebook's got in Home. And as of today, it's breaking free from AT&T's exclusive HTC First and heading to a choice few Android flagships in the US. Now owners of the Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II as well as the HTC One X+ can rush on over to Google Play or Facebook's site to download the free screen-stealing app / launcher. And when HTC's One and Samsung's GS 4 make their eventual way to the US market, Facebook heads will also have the privilege of setting up Home on those two flagships, just as Zuck promised. Home: it's where privacy and your free time go to die.

[Source: Engadget]

Facebook Home software leaks, try it out early

If you want to go Home early, now's your chance: a pre-release version of Facebook Home has leaked to turn your Android phone into a photo-liking, status-updating machine.

Facebook Home is software that completely replaces the interface on your Android phone, loading your friends' photos, posts and status updates on your homescreen. The software is showcased on the HTC First phone, but you'll be able to download it for a range of Android phones.

And ahead of the official launch, MoDaCo has pulled an early version of the software from the ROM of the HTC First, consisting of three APKs.

There's the main Facebook app, codenamed 'katana'; the Messenger app, codenamed 'orca', which integrates with your text messages; and a launcher shell app codenamed 'home'. To try out the pre-release software, including the floating head Chat Heads feature, you need to completely uninstall the existing Facebook app. The leaked software works on phones with a resolution lower than 1,280 x 768 -- and, as ever, you mess with the dark arts of leaked pre-release software at your own risk.

[Source: CNET]

Facebook addresses privacy concerns over Facebook Home

Facebook answers important user privacy questions. Read them before you install or buy anything.

A lot of folks have serious privacy concerns about Facebook's new Home application. Questions about location gathering, message reading, and the general "safeness" of Facebook tracking what you do on your Android phone. We have our own here as well, and have had plenty of internal discussion.

Facebook doesn't want folks to worry, so they released a privacy FAQ about the new product. It's a short read that everyone who might install the app needs to look at, but here are some highlights:

  • You can use Facebook without using Facebook Home
  • Facebook Home is just another app you install from Google Play. You can uninstall it at any time.
  • Facebook Home collects your Facebook activity, location, Facebook messages, and the apps in your Home app launcher. This data is user-identifiable for 90 days.
  • Facebook can not collect any data outside of the Home app, unless you use the HTC First  -- then it can track what apps generate notifications, but not the content of the notification.

We're not going to judge any of these policies -- that's for you to do. We are going to tell you about them and direct you to the full statement so you can read it and discuss. And you should.

[Source: AndroidCentral]

Facebook Introduces Facebook Home for Android

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the stage in San Francisco today and said Facebook is going to focus on Android moving forward.

“The great thing about Android is its so open,” Zuckerberg said. “You can have apps that can be your keyboard, can be your home screen of your phone, you don’t need to fork Android to do this, you don’t even need to modify the operating system. The home screen is the soul of your phone.” Home will takeover your lock screen and your home screen and will provide all sorts of status updates that would otherwise populate inside a dedicated Facebook app.

Zuckerberg guaranteed that it’s still easy to access applications, however. You can tap a photo of your face at the bottom of the screen and swipe up to see all of your applications.

We expect Facebook will also introduce a smartphone, but we know that at least part of the experience is designed for multiple Android devices.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]