Facebook Unveils 'Home' for Android Phones


Facebook Home also offers an App Launcher. Users press and hold their profile picture on the Cover Feed to bring up the App button, which then takes them to their pages of downloaded apps.

The company has been bogged down with user privacy concerns in the past and when asked if it was collecting more data on its users through Home, Facebook said they have analytics on how people use their products and those are anonomized after a short amount of time.

Rumors began to fly about what Facebook might announce when the company sent out invitations to members of the media via email last week that teased it would be showing off its "new home on Android."

HTC, a Taiwanese phone maker, released The Status in 2011, an Android phone that had Facebook branding and specialized Facebook software. The phone wasn't marketed by Facebook and received poor reviews. The company recently announced its new HTC One Android phone.

Amazon has taken a similar route, creating its own version of Android software to run on its Kindle Fire. It placed Amazon's services front and center.

Facebook had been rumored to be working on its own phone for months. But while Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said the company is focused on mobile and is a mobile company, he had denied the existence of plans for a "Facebook phone" last year.

The company also announced today that it wants to eventually bring Facebook Home to tablets, but that won't be available until later this year. In the meantime, the HTC First phone could ramp up the pressure on other media giants to expand the mobile market.

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