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Phones

Facebook Home out now, iPhone and iPad get Chat Heads

The first Facebook Home features hit your iPhone or iPad today, as Facebook Home comes home to British Android phones.

Welcome Home. The first Facebook Home features hit your iPhone or iPad today, as Facebook Home comes home to British Android phones.

If you want Facebook to take over your Android phone, tying your Facebook friends, messages and other app features tightly together with your mobile, you can get Facebook Home from Google Play today.

And the iOS app putting Facebook in your iPhone and iPad is updated today with Chat Heads.

Chat Heads may sound like a late-night '90s Channel 4 chat show presented by Normski and Amanda de Cadenet, but it's not: it's a floating picture of a friend's face that pops up on your screen to tell you when they've sent you a message.

That means you can keep chatting without staying in the messages bit, looking at what's going down in your feed or checking out the photos from the party last night that you don't remember being taken. You can drag the little floating Chat Heads around the screen, or flick them down to close them.

On Android, Chat Heads pop up to tell you a friend wants to chat no matter what app you're in, but on your iPhone or iPad they're confined to the Facebook app.

Facebook has also introduced Stickers for your messages, pictured above right. They're terrifyingly huge emoticons, basically. Tap the smiley to add a sticker, or the basket to buy more.

Hit play below to see what Facebook Home is all about:

Now Playing: Watch this: Facebook Home hands-on
1:56

Facebook Home touches comes home on Google Play today, if you have a compatible device: that's the Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3, or Galaxy Note 2; the HTC One or One X; as well as the forthcoming HTC First. Although if you cheat a bit, you can get it on any Android phone.

Chat heads and stickers on the Facebook app for iPhone and iPad will turn up in an update over the next few weeks.

What do you think of Facebook Home? Should apps be able to take over the iPhone like they can on Android? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

Editor's note: Facebook told us Home would be available in the UK at 5.30pm, but it doesn't look like it is. Hopefully it'll be up soon.