Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Facebook Home: Day One

I've installed Facebook Home for a field test today; here are some of my initial thoughts after a couple of hours of use.

Initially, Home felt needlessly disruptive. I'm used to seeing a highly customized Android experience, with rooted access widgets, launchers, customer icons etc. With time I got accustomed to this apperating system (courtesy: wired.com), and am starting to warm to having the social network come before any other interaction. Facebook could really do with some stream management though. As a Google+ user, I'm spoiled with great ability to distinguish which posts I want to access when, but Facebook has always found this hard. While they use lists, these are simply not as solid as Google's circles, which make it easy to manage what I see in the stream. Of course on Facebook, everything is based around being "friends", while Google+ respects that friends are just one part of my online social activity.

This small issue aside, I can't say enough about the build quality of Home. It's smooth, it's slick, it's reasonably fast, although it got a little laggy on the train where data is scarce. All in all, I'm super impressed. My favorite thing about Android is the ability to customize, but I can appreciate that most people don't have time to waste adjusting and tweaking their mobile. I've long wondered why companies don't spend more time developing different launchers, and finally put it down to technical road blocks. Maybe Android isn't as open as I thought. Wrong - Facebook have done an awesome job at refreshing your phone, and if you love Facebook, you've no choice but to go Android now.