Facebook home is going to be available to the public in a few days and hopes to offer a friendly (puntastic!) experience for users via chat heads, lock screen news feed, and more. We here at AndroidDev101 are pretty excited but maybe not for the same reasons as most Facebook-attics.
OK so you might see this as Hannibal at the gates and Facebook is going to try to invade every Android handset that it can get its bloody blue hands on, but isn’t this type of project that Android was actually built for? When Android was launched through the Open Handset Alliance wasn’t one of its goal to eventually have products like Facebook home?
Could this be another sign of the shift of power and influence in the mobile space? OK maybe you’re a skeptic and think ‘Hey what’s all the big huppaladida?’ (huppaladida being the semi-official exclamation for Android developers in the southern hemisphere during the month of April).
There are already tons of lock screen and launcher apps out there, Facebook isn’t doing anything new. True…..well false…ok true-false with a dash of maybeness. Maybe Facebook found a way to integrate all of these features into a smooth immersive user experience. More importantly it is new because of the reasoning behind the endeavor.
Facebook home is not a standalone product, but instead was created to support their main product Facebook.com. Now imagine if other companies wake up and open their eyes and see the true potential here. You could switch your Android phone over to a ‘Disney phone’ if you go and visit the theme park or when you get to work you switch your phone into ‘LinkedIn business phone’ mode and the whole experience changes.
This kind of customizability is one of the many reasons why we love developing for Android. As developers we hope that Facebook home is just the start and we hope to see many more companies leverage the openness of the Android development environment to create their own unique experiences in the mobile space.