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Facebook updates iOS app as Facebook Home rolls out in the UK

Image by Robert Scoble

Image by Robert Scoble

As Facebook Home begins its rollout in the UK, Facebook has released an updated iOS app that boasts some of the features of Facebook Home.

Bumping the Facebook iOS app to version 6.0, the updated app delivers some of the features found on Facebook Home to the iPhone and iPad.

Home is a family of apps that Facebook made available for Android-equipped smartphones last week in the Google Play Store. Currently, the product works on several different phones made by HTC and Samsung.

One of the main features incorporated in the new updates is Chat Heads, a buzzy messaging feature released as part of Facebook’s Home software for Android-based smartphones.

The app, which is designed to let users chat with their friends even while they are doing other things on their phone, will launch on the iPhone and iPad later on Tuesday as part of an update to Facebook’s apps on the iPhone and iPad.

The messaging app displays a pop-up bubble of the sender’s headshot whenever the user receives a message, which can be repositioned anywhere on the screen by dragging it. To reply to a message, the person just taps the bubble, which can be closed by flicking it down.

Unlike Facebook Home on Android, the iOS app can’t also integrate SMS messages and doesn’t work outside of the app itself, but we see this as only a good thing.

Another feature adopted from Android’s Facebook home is the Stickers feature, which are blown-up versions of emoticons that people can insert into their messages. At the moment, these only seem to work between two devices with the updated app.

The company is also planning to release an update to its iOS apps that will incorporate some of the recent design-themed changes to News Feed that Facebook rolled out to the desktop last month. Those changes are designed to reduce clutter and provide a visually richer News Feed highlighting photographs and content from publishers.

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