Facebook’s Android Will Not be Designed Around Apps
Facebook recently announced that is making a significant change regarding the Android operating system. Facebook’s CEO announced that Facebook would no longer design its phones around apps. Instead, Facebook phones will be designed around “people first”.
According to the CEO, the new Facebook Android plan isn’t an OS and isn’t a phone, but it’s “a whole lot deeper than an ordinary app.” Currently, Facebook provides a tone-setting homescreen that will make your Android phone a lot more personal. It’s a family of applications called “Home.” Home is characterized as very visual with a variety of features such as wall-to-wall images with super-imposed text that viewers might expect to find in top drawer magazines. All the apps you use are one swipe away, hidden under the splashy, people-focused overlay of images and notifications.
It is important to note that (a) Home will reside on top, but not replace, the home screen and (b) the array of apps sits on top, but does not replace, the Android OS. Home is not an operating system. Instead, it is a component that allows Android users to refine the home screen (e.g., the phone’s desktop). That means an Android can launch mobile apps, make phone calls and perform various tasks on devices that use the Android mobile OS. Launcher is built into Android, however there are a number of Launchers available for download in the Android Market.
In a live demo, a Facebook executive demonstrated some Home features and explained that the designers have relied on simple, intuitive gestures and controls to compensate for removal of the standard Android navigation. He explained that the design team made sure that users of the new Facebook Android Plan won’t miss out on anything important, notifications end up overlaid on your homescreen for your perusal and/or dismissal. And all the apps you still love that aren’t Facebook live in a traditional Android “app drawer.”
It is interesting to note that, although the conventional wisdom in tech circles was that Facebook was a prime candidate to market a Facebook smartphone, a Facebook spokesperson stated that was not part of the Facebook business plan. Instead, that spokesperson explained that Facebook executives wanted to provide smartphone users with the opportunity to access a wide variety of sources of information easily and quickly.
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