Facebook has officially announced Facebook Home to make Android-powered smartphones more Facebook-centric.
It’s a free interface Android users can download as of April 12.
“With Home you see your world through people, not apps,” Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday at the Facebook Home launch.
LIVE DISCUSSION: Join us as we talk about Facebook Home at 2 p.m.
With Facebook Home, users see the latest content shared by their friends on the lock screen of their phones. Friends’ photos and status updates appear, and users can swipe left and right to see more content. Users can also “like” or comment on the content straight from the screen, which Facebook calls the Cover Feed.
Another notable feature of Facebook Home is Chat Heads, which makes it easier for users to keep up with conversations they are having through text messages or Facebook Messenger.
If a user is having a conversation with a friend, the friend’s face shows up on the screen of the user’s phone, even on top of non-Facebook apps.
“You can just tap on his face and bring up the conversation,” Zuckerberg said in explaining the feature.
Facebook Home will be available for Android users with the latest version of the Facebook app. When they open that app, they’ll be invited to download Facebook Home from the Google Play store.
The company also said it will update Facebook Home each month, and eventually bring Home to tablets that use the Android mobile operating system.