Posts tagged with: Facebook Home
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    The past few weeks have seen a flurry of interest in alternate launchers for Android phones. Nokia surprised a lot of Android users with the pre-beta release of its Z launcher, and we just saw Yahoo's Aviate launcher leave beta and become widely available. Sure, custom launchers have long been an option for Android users, but it's only recently that we've seen them mature from more of an enthusiast pursuit to software focused on the casual smartphone user. That trend is due in no small part to Facebook's efforts last spring with Facebook Home, and the corresponding HTC First handset. While ...

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    Oh, Facebook Home: you arrived with a bang, you were interesting, different, and experimental... and then we utterly lost interest. You basically killed the otherwise promising HTC First. Suffice it to say, the vast majority of us gave up on you a long time ago. Well, while we moved back to our stand-alone Facebook apps, the company's been working on breathing some new life into Home, and following some beta testing last month, has a new version of Facebook Home ready to install, bringing with it a few changes to its layout. The overarching theme of these changes seems to be keeping ...

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    Facebook is one of the most popular social networks in the entire world, but in today's fast-paced environment, resting on one's laurels is probably the best way to get passed up and pushed into the realm of irrelevance. The only viable strategy to survive? Innovate -- or die. Facebook has been doing just that: taking risks and pushing the envelope. One of its recent strategies was pushing notifications to the front with chat heads. Facebook's chat heads let you quickly read and reply to messages while you're using other apps through a floating notification that includes a picture of your ...

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    It's almost hard to believe how quickly Facebook Home – and the HTC First along with it – grabbed the spotlight before almost immediately fading away. Sure, it was risky project that didn't quite deliver in the ways we were hoping, but it was still a big deal to see a company releasing software like this, and it got us wondering who else might cook up a Facebook Home of their own. Now that the dust has settled, it seems a lot less likely that anyone might be interested in following in Facebook's footsteps. Some new survey data spells out just how little interest the smartphone-using ...

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    While Facebook continues to try and make things work with new updates, it's hardly controversial to suggest that its Facebook Home is something between a slow-burner that hasn't quite found its success yet, and an abject failure. The one ray of sunshine that really managed to shine through the whole thing has been the idea of Chat Heads, which Facebook was smart enough to separately build into Messenger. We even saw the idea capture the imagination of the custom ROM community, and Paranoid Android introduced its own Halo feature inspired by Chat Heads. We've shown you just how Halo works, ...

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    A couple weeks back we got word that Facebook was slamming the breaks on plans to bring the HTC First – and the Facebook Home software that comes along with it – to the UK. Reportedly, Facebook wasn't quite loving the user experience the software delivered and wanted time to give things a bit of a refresh and add some "new customization features." We're not sure if we're already seeing the fruits of that labor, but today a new version of Facebook for Android has arrived that does deliver some adjustments to Facebook Home. The big new thing in this release is the creation of a favorites ...

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    It hardly took any time at all following the HTC First's launch that we started hearing rumors of the smartphone's failure. Then we saw AT&T slash the phone's price, and all that talk started feeling like it had some weight to it. As we still stand by to learn the phone's ultimate fate in the US, its troubles spread internationally, and today we get word that the First's UK launch has been placed on indefinite hold. What's maybe most interesting is that this reportedly isn't primarily HTC's decision, or even any carrier's, but a choice made by Facebook itself. The company is apparently ...

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    HTC seems like they want to be "number one" -- at least they want people to associate them with that level of prestige. Why else would they name their devices "One" and "First" when everyone else is rapidly iterating their model numbers? Recently the hardware maker teamed up with a social networking service to do something bold and creative: they released a smartphone that was "Facebook centric". When you turned on your phone you got Facebook first. Finally, the much rumored "Facebook phone" had arrived -- but they were bold enough not to call it that. And now, just a few months later, ...

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    Last week's news of a big HTC First price cut resulted in mixed reactions. Some saw it as great news, making an already hot phone even more affordable. On the other hand, that big of a cut, that early on in the phone's life, had others talking about the beginning of the end for the First. Today a new rumor claims that the latter situation is closer to the truth, and the First could be getting an early retirement. BGR claims to have heard from its sources that dismal First sales - to the tune of a mere 15,000 units - are causing the carrier to abandon the phone, rather than ride things out ...

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    The HTC First is a surprisingly decent mid-ranger that has found itself more than a bit overshadowed by the Facebook Home software that comes pre-installed. That's a bit of a shame, because your feelings about Facebook Home aside, the First is an attractive little phone in its own right and deserves to get some more attention. A week ago, we were musing about whether or not people would actually flock to the First, especially in light of heavyweights like the HTC One or Samsung Galaxy S 4 looking so tempting. At the time, the First was still going for about $100 on contract, so while it ...

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    Last week gave us a couple great opportunities to learn about the latest feature coming to the Paranoid Android custom ROM project, the remixed take on Facebook Chat Heads we came to know as Halo. We got to check out some videos of the feature in action, but were really looking forward to the chance to try it out for ourselves. Well, while you were busy enjoying the lovely spring weather this weekend, Halo quietly decided to show its face, and the first ROMs implementing the feature are now available. Paranoid Android ROMs implementing Halo are now available for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and ...

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    Yesterday we told you about a new feature coming to the popular Paranoid Android ROM that brings a very Facebook Home Chat-Heads-like experience to regular old Android apps. We heard a bit about both how the system would work and when it might arrive, as well as got to check out a very early video preview. Well, that one didn't show much and it wasn't so easy to follow what was going on, so we're lucky to find a new hands-on tonight that shows this new feature in all its glory. Paranoid Android is calling this system Halo, which makes a lot of sense given the circular icons used to deliver ...

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    You know what's awesome? Taking two awesome things and putting them together to make something even more awesome: Old Bay and popcorn, or drinking and golf. We already loves us some Facebook Chat Heads and Paranoid Android ROMs, and have been saying that we'd love to see other apps adopt their own Chat-Head-like functionality, so it's great news to hear that Paranoid Android is working on a similar feature of its own, and one that should work with any app. This is very much still in development, and the video below is supposed to be just an early look at some of the tech behind the system, ...

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    Launched in the midst of much higher-profile devices, one of the best mid-range smartphones – one that stands for much more than just another mid-range phone – has suffered from a terrible case of bad timing. After spending 11 days with the phone, our full review of the HTC First went live one week ago today. When we first caught wind of the First, there really wasn't a lot to get excited about. It was, in a sense, the elusive Facebook phone; its specifications were mediocre; its build and design were plain and simple; and it came pre-loaded with Facebook Home. There was nothing about ...

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    Facebook Home sure was a surprising new direction to see the company take, and while the somewhat drastic overhaul all of its components make to Android may be a bit jarring, we quickly became enamored with certain aspects of the software, particularly the new Chat Heads for messaging. After an initial surge of interest, however, Home now appears to be quickly losing its footing, dropping in its Google Play app ranking as fewer users download the app. Did Facebook's experiment fail? After peaking as the 50th most popular app in the Play Store, Facebook Home has seen its popularity slide ...

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