Many called Facebook a dying fad when the site went public and didn't turn out to be the big moneymaking product everyone expected it to be. As one of the big pioneers in social media, the company turned to the drawing board only to come back with it's newest free app, Facebook Home.
Facebook Home has generated buzz because of how it changes the Android platform. It allows users to receive their personal News Feed right on the lock screen of their phone from the moment they turn it on, essentially keeping them up to date with all their friends statuses, photos, check-ins, and anything else they can share on their wall. The app is an amalgamation of the other various apps owned by the company such as Instagram, Messenger, and Pages Manager all of which are designed to create a user-friendly experience.
In addition, to receiving your friend's updates immediately on your phone, there's also a small bubble called a "chat head" that will appear whenever you receive a message from a friend with their corresponding profile picture.
Facebook Sneaks the HTC One and Samsung GS4 into the Facebook Home Party
The company has been trying to integrate the new app into mobile technology, starting with the HTC First, but has since adapted the app to support other devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One.
Once you open the app for the first time on the GS4, it gives you a disclaimer that your device may not be supported but gives you the option to either "Go To Facebook" or "Use Home Anyway". In this case, the message is pretty bewildering, since the app seems to run fine when users click "Use Home Anyway," despite the warning. The HTC One however, receives no such screen when starting up but still works normally.
How This Affects Other Android Users
Users of the traditional Facebook app (myself included) have been experiencing a rather strange digital ripple effect from the recent support updates.
I received a notification on my phone last night that the app needed to be updated. I thought it was strange that it didn't update automatically like usual, but was too tired to give it a second thought. I noticed that it was already around 40% complete when I put my phone screen to sleep. However, I woke this morning to find that the app was still updating! I pulled down the notification bar and tapped on it, which lead me to their Google Play page, but the download simply stopped and removed itself from the bar.
Many have reported a persistent problem with the endless update just like I experienced, but apparently it can be easily fixed through the phone settings. The update issue seems harmless enough, but we can only hope it is not a sign of things to come as the company refines Facebook Home.