Facebook home tried, tested and almost uninstalled

Facebook home launcher… What more do I need to say?

Facebook Home

I made the step of replacing Nemus launcher with Facebook home on my HTC One X just to see what its like first hand. And to be honest the reviews on the play store sum it up.. Currently with 2.2 out 5 stars the reviews are worst still.

Derrick Baird – April 14, 2013 – Samsung Galaxy S3 with version 1.0

A good start

I like it, takes some getting use to, but so far I have had no issues with it. I do miss widgets. And it needs some more customization. Its a good start, but has a long way to go to become a permanent UI replacement. Most of the 1 star reviews seem to be by people who dont know what this is or how to use it.]

Demir Bracic – April 16, 2013 – Version 1.0

Its a start but too limited

I think Facebook is on the right track but to me this would be better served as a live wallpaper. If I wanted a phone with no widgets and customization I would have bought an iPhone.

Nathan Watrous – April 14, 2013 – Version 1.0

Too Much…

I tried it ,and to be honest, it just was too much. I would like it better if it was just the lock screen, but it gets annoying. Plus, it hid most of my other apps (namely google ones lol).

Alex Blackie – April 14, 2013 – Version 1.0

Pretty slick

I was hesitant due to a lot of 1 star reviews but if you pay any attention to what you’re getting then it’s not an issue. Sure you can’t use widgets but I never do anyway and the people that complain about that probably rarely use em themselves, akin to dvd players in computers. If youre someone that appreciates minimalism then you’ll like how clean and intuitive this luncher is. You can still use your Phone as you always have, it’s just different.

Horriable Facebook App screen

So what do I think having played with it? Well I still have it on my phone for now but its going to get uninstalled any day now. I hate the window manager, its poor and crappy. On top of that it looks like something out of Android 1.6. Yes say hello to Eclair again, as that tragic shade of grey makes a re-entry on Android. The swipe positioning of your mini head is a little bizarre although to be fair I was introduced to them when I installed Facebook messenger. I also can’t understand why the launcher only shows a small subset of apps? Luckily there is a mode where you can see them all. As mentioned already theres no widgets just apps.

Facebook home daydream

The only part of Facebook Home I actually quite like is the screensaver/lock screen. When turning on the phone, your shown the latest pictures of what your friends have posted to the their timelines with what ever comment they left. Not only that you can actually like and comment back right there without unlocking the phone. Security wise I couldn’t get into the main Android or launch any apps without using my pass pattern, which is invoked when ever you get to deep (I couldn’t work out if this was because I got fed up of using Facebook’s UI and binded the home key back to Nemus launcher or not.

Replying to a friends status

Yes this does mean if you currently pick up my phone, you can write a stupid comment in reply to a random friends post or even like something which I wouldn’t normally like. This for me isn’t the end of the world but could cause some embarrassing circumstances once in a while.

Frankly this is the only part of Facebook home I quite like (although I also don’t like the battery usage) as a screensaver its quite neat and the ability to reply and like is very useful. I wonder why Twitter and more likely Google Plus haven’t done the same before?  Scratch the rest of Facebook Home, this is the bit which is cool.

Liking Chris's status

Interestingly when installing Jelly Bean (4.2 not 4.1)  on my tablet I found a new feature which I had heard about but had been pretty much ignored in the press. Daydream. Daydream can work like the parts of Facebook Home I like. In actual fact I already found a few nice extras I’m looking to give a shot soon. Maybe this a serious reason why I should root my HTC one x too?

Back to Facebook home… This comment sums up my thoughts too

Holden Kass – April 14, 2013 – HTC One X with version 1.0

Good lock screen

That’s all I use it for it runs great with adw launcher

Or for me it plays nicely with Nemus launcher, but its going to get removed once I find a decent Daydream app.

My Nemus Launcher setup

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.