If you havenÔÇÖt heard yet, Facebook is making a great move in the mobile development world with a new project of theirs called Facebook Home. This newly announce product is all the rage among those who plug into Facebook and like to live within its walled garden.
What is Home?
Home is essentially a home screen launcher for android devices only. For those that are not familiar with launcher mobile applications found on Google Play, they transform your UI to offer a different experience, often with higher levels of customization and functionality. This particular launcher is aimed at bringing the walled garden that is Facebook home to android phones everywhere. It hides most of the regular function of android offering up the social interactions of Facebook instead. You can still access everything you normally would be able to on Android, it is just a little further out of reach than usual.
How will it be available?
Home is basically an app that most Android ran smartphones will be able to utilize, but there will be phones that are devoted to the launcher that will have a higher level of customization. If you were to install it right now for instance (it will be available on April 12th 2013) it would hide Google search and other built in functions. You would need to open up chrome or a dedicated search app to access this function. That said there seems to be a way to incorporate Facebook Home into your OS without eliminating your current setup and information. A demo of the launcher on a Galaxy S3 shows that by tapping a ÔÇ£moreÔÇªÔÇØ button in the app drawer you can access the regular OS home page and content and revert back to Facebook Home with a simple tap on the home key.
Who would use this?
While any age group can use Home, this product seems to be aimed at 21st-century teenagers more than anyone else. The socialization habits of these teens is something to see if you have not yet witnessed it. Studies are showing that children between the ages of 12 and 17 text a median of 60 times a day, thatÔÇÖs 1,800 texts a month. There are reports of individuals getting as high as 24,000 a month. This number is growing rapidly. The next generation holds almost no distinction between a friend that is 5 feet away or 500 miles. This is the connectivity we can now achieve and Facebook is keen on utilizing this target audience.
What I think
I myself do not use Facebook that often and maybe send 20-30 texts on a busy day. Everyone is different, has differing habits or varying interests. I do not feel that this is something I would want on my smartphone. Yet I can see it being perfect for those that I see around me, especially teenagers that can be seen flocking together with phones out holding dozens of conversations at once. I think that with the new levels of communication amongst the populace that this is a brilliant move from Zuckerberg. The real question to me is will this help or hinder Google. Since the app will not make it over to iOS and is staying exclusively on Android, it could bring a large flock of new customers to Google. Yet as it is removing much of GoogleÔÇÖs impact within the OS, it may cause some issues. It will be interesting to see how this new piece of mobile technology impacts the market and how it will change the ebb and flow of the OS preferences.