Almanac

News - April 10, 2013

Facebook reveals new 'Home' for smartphones

by Sandy Brundage

"We're not building a phone," Mark Zuckerberg said, finally putting to rest months of rumors on April 4. What Facebook has done, however is build what they bill as "the best version of Facebook there is."

Starting April 12, Facebook aficionados will be able to download "Home," a new application that presents a new user interface for smartphones.

Facebook held a press conference at its headquarters in Menlo Park to show off its latest product. "Home" incorporates a new homescreen depicting updates from friends, news stories and other content, and a redesign of traditional messaging systems — "Chatheads" — that allows message notifications to persist on top of whatever applications the user is accessing; no more switching from the phone browser window to a text message.

The company also announced contracts with manufactures to launch new phones featuring "Home," such as the upcoming HTC First model, which will come with the application pre-installed.

The new interface represents Facebook's drive to focus on mobile applications, according to Mr. Zuckerberg. It will be available for tablets a few months after the launch of the phone version.

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