Despite having been given a big launch with all the media glitz, Facebook Home hasn’t really caught the attention of many Android users with many users giving it an average rating of 2.2. stars.
According to the app’s page on the Google Play Store, Facebook Home crossed 500,000 downloads on April 21, five days after it was launched on April 16.
Although 500,000 downloads in five days is an impressive number, when you factor in that the social media giant has over a billion global users and over 66 million active mothly users, the 500,000 number begins to seem like a drop in the ocean.
The low numbers could be attributed to the fact that Facebook home is not available to all the 66 million andrid users, but rather to a select Android smartphones. The list of supported smartphones includes the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, HTC One X, HTC One X plus, HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4
Facebook Home works more as a user-interface than a normal app. On installation, Facebook Home converts the Android home-screen into a Facebook centric cover page on the smartphone. From Cover Feed as your Homescreen to Chat heads in all app, the app launcher is great if your life revolves around Facebook.
• Cover Feed: This feature makes Facebook an official lock screen and home screen on the android smartphone integrating all the apps in to a hub. Posts from your News Feed, called Cover Feed in Android Home. You can swipe through to a status message or photo to see more, double tap to F-like a post, and comment right from Cover Feed itself. The Cover Feed also shows Cover Photos from your friends’ Facebook profile in the background as you browse through a post.
• Chat Heads: This feature helps the user to send and receive texts even if other apps are active. If the user has opened an app to listen to music, or browse the internet, he/she will still be able to send and receive texts as well as Facebook messages from the same spot. The user can jump in and out of conversations while doing other things, like watching videos or browsing the web. You can drag the floating heads to the bottom of the page if you want to close the conversation.
• Notifications: This feature pops notifications on the smartphone screen to view messages which are directly meant for users. If a friend writes on one’s Facebook Timeline, a notification pops on the home screen and users can just tap it to view the message along with the person’s profile pictures. A double tap on the same message lets the user post a reply to that message.
• App Launcher: You can keep your favourite apps in the App Launcher to access them quickly. You do this by dragging apps onto the home screen’s app launcher. The App Launcher also lets you post to Facebook. Users have to press and hold an app then drag it where you want in the App launcher.
User reaction to the app has also been low-key with many saying the app is negatively affecting battery life, limited customization options and hogging mobile data. Suggestions have been made to tweak the app to include widget support and additional customization options to make it more user-friendly.