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First Look: Facebook Home for Android

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First Look: Facebook Home for Android

3:06 /

Social networking has never been closer to your fingertips than with Facebook Home. Whether that's good or bad is up to you.

If you wanna seriously amp up your social networking presence on your Android phone, then you might want Facebook Home for Android. I'm Jessica Dolcourt for CNET. This is your First Look. Now, Facebook Home is not an operating system, it is an app that skins your home screens. You can download it through Google Play for several phones or it might come preloaded on your phone as with this HTC First right here. Facebook calls the photos and status updates that you see march across your screen cover feed. And from these screens, you can like a picture or status and you can comment as well. Images auto scroll on their own, you can advance them manually as well and you can adjust the image quality and refresh rate in the settings. There are other ways you can navigate around as well. If you tap your own profile picture, you can launch the messenger, open your app tray or return to the last app that you had opened. Since Facebook Home does sit on top of Android, you're able to access every other bit of Android as well. For example, if you wanna open your apps, you can either tap the home screen button or you can swipe up from the bottom. What you see is an app launcher. There are short cuts to all the apps that you want. You can drag and drop apps on or off. If you wanna remove them, you can have as many app launcher pages as you want. To see a full list of apps, you swipe over to the left and you've got a vertical estimate there. From the launcher, you can update your Facebook status, check in to a location and upload photos through a specific Facebook uploader tool. Chat has the same as your Facebook messenger but you can chat through Facebook or through SMS with your contacts. Singular icons if your friends' profile pictures pop up when they chat with you, and from there you'll be able to drag them all over the screen and interact with them. To close it, you simply swipe the chat head away. If you have multiple Chat Heads open, you can stack them up to conserve space, expand them out and you can close them one at a time or as a stack. Facebook Home takes over your lock screen by default. So, that when you wake up the phone, home is the first thing you see. However, you can change this in the settings and you can have your regular lock screen as well. Facebook Home is also really easy to turn off and turn back on again if you change your mind and you wanna suspend it for a little bit. Although there are no ads on Facebook Home right now, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that is the plan for the future to start monetizing the feature. I personally wouldn't use Facebook Home on my regular Android phone but there are some things that I like about it. I really like Chat Heads for example and I wish that Android will just take that implementation and that we could see it on all phones. It's really useful and handy and clever. I also think it would be really nice to be able to update your status and take photos directly from cover feed on Facebook Home. So, that's something I hope they'll implement in the future. Facebook Home is obviously for people who love Facebook, who want to interact with their friends the second they turn on their phone. It's free to download and use. However, so if you think you might like it, you won't lose anything by trying it out. I'm Jessica Dolcourt for CNET, this has been your first look at Facebook Home and you can read my full review at CNET.com.

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