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Facebook 'Home' for Android announced (VIDEO)



Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during an event at Facebook headquarters on April 4, 2013 in Menlo Park, California. Zuckerberg announced a new product for Android called Facebook Home.


Justin Sullivan

Steve Jobs, your legacy is safe.

Those expecting an iPhone-level announcement might be left wanting after Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday announced a new suite of mobile social applications known as "Home" for Android.

Shortly after 1 p.m. EST, Zuckerberg appeared on-screen clad in a black hooded sweatshirt. He began a quick-paced walk through a presentation displayed on the several screens flanking him.

Zuckerberg told listeners that the "family of apps," collectively called Home, is "a whole lot deeper than just an ordinary app."

"We want to bring this experience of always knowing what's going on around you right to your phone," Zuckerberg said.

Home seeks to merge the many streams of information users access every day more seamlessly — for example, with Facebook's newly unveiled "cover feed." Part of Home, the cover feed function brings content forward to an Android home screen without requiring users to access the material through browsers or individual applications.

Developer Joey Flynn also introduced "chat head," which allows users to swiftly toggle between text messaging and Facebook browsing.

The first Android device to offer Facebook Home preloaded will be the HTC First. It goes on sale April 12 for $99, USA Today said. Others can download it from the Google Play app store on April 12.

Other HTC and Samsung devices are set to offer Home for phones and tablets.

Facebook is trying to keep its 1 billion users happy. According to comScore estimates, 30 percent of those users access Facebook through a mobile device only, USA Today reported.

While its an intriguing move to analysts, others were less impressed. proclaimed "Facebook’s ‘Phone’ Is Another Triumph of Mediocrity."

"It’s something more than an application, and slightly less than an operating system," Wired's Mat Honan writes.

How does it work? Those who download Home or purchase the HTC First are giving up their home screen in favor of Facebook Home.

The technique is called a "launcher," Bloomberg said.

Through Home, your phone's home screen becomes your Facebook feed with photos and status updates.

[View the story "Facebook not a phone but a 'Home'" on Storify]

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