Get Facebook Home and Chat Heads on any Android phone
To have Facebook Home take over your whole phone, or get Chat Heads popping up, click here for how to get Facebook Home now.
Richard TrenholmFormer Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Facebook Home has landed on US phones, and now you can try it out for yourself -- no matter what Android phone you have. Whether you want Facebook to take over your whole phone or just fancy fun Chat Heads popping up all over the shop, read on for how to try it out right now.
Facebook Home is a launcher for Android devices that integrates Facebook contacts, messages and other stuff into your phone's everyday workings. It makes its debut on the HTC First, exclusive to EE.
But forget that -- let's try it out on your dog and bone. Although you need to install some unofficial files -- courtesy of the clever folks at XDA Developers Forum -- you don't even need a rooted phone.
It'll only work if your phone is a blank slate with no trace of Facebook lingering. So start by uninstalling the Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and any other Facebook Home apps you already have.
When all whiff of Zuckerberg has been scoured from your blower, you can start. To kick off, you need the archive. Go and download the file, email it to your phone, then extract and install the APKs of both the Facebook app and Facebook Home, including the APK that lets Chat Heads work. (You may have to tick 'Enable Unknown Sources' or similar in application settings.)
Fire up the Facebook app and, in the settings, tick Enable next to Facebook Home. Then download, extract and install the Facebook Messenger APK.
Hit play on our video below to see what Facebook Home is all about:
Watch this: Facebook Home hands-on
If all that seems like too much like hard work, you can get the fun Chat Heads feature on your phone without any of the palaver.
Chat Heads are little round pictures of your friends that pop up on your phone when they drop you a line. It works even if you're in another app, so your mates can pop up any time for a bit of a chinwag, and it's now been added to the regular Facebook Messenger app too.
To get Chat Heads floating around your phone, update the app, go into the notification settings and turn on Chat Heads. Then in SMS/MMS settings tick Enable Text Messaging. To avoid duplicate notifications, turn off notifications from the Android Messaging app.
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