It has been only been a few weeks since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced his social network’s latest foray into the growing world of mobile communications. Facebook Home is the network’s most ambitious mobile effort to date, but initial reviews and first impressions have been lukewarm at best.
This is more than likely due to the fact that many people expected Facebook to come out with a free or low-cost dedicated handset supported by advertising. Still, with more than half a million downloads of the Android app, users are speaking up about future improvements they would like to see.
Here are three features that Facebook Home could greatly benefit from:
Clearly Defined and Constant Development Path
The consensus among technology journalists and users who have tried Facebook Home have mixed feelings about the Android app. They have gotten past Facebook Home’s somewhat limited availability as a massive app that essentially takes over the mobile device it is installed in. They are getting used to the various features; some are elegant and others awkward.
Thus far the best way to enjoy Facebook Home is on the HTC First smart phone, which can be considered a veritable social networking phone. Early reviews of the HTC First are very encouraging; users enjoy the experience of Facebook as a proxy mobile operating system in a device that is smooth and responsive.
This is what Facebook Home developers should pay close attention: User feedback, both positive and negative. Dedicated Facebook users will quickly warm up to the idea of glancing at their mobile screens and seeing social media updates elegantly flash across along with new instant messages from Chat Heads.
Nevertheless, owners of other handsets who install Facebook Home complain that their batteries drain rather quickly, that the widgets from the mobile app have disappeared, and that the customization options are lacking. Addressing these issues and hard work to improve Facebook Home is what users would like to constantly see from the developers.
Full Instagram Integration
Facebook Home comes with an App Launcher that neatly organizes mobile apps and allows some level of social networking integration in the sense that social updates and chat sessions are always just a swipe away. This, however, is not full integration.
Popular mobile apps such as Instagram and Spotify should feature greater integration with Facebook Home in order to attract more users. Instagram is already part of the Facebook social media empire; improved mobile integration of this premier photo editing app would be a great feature for Facebook Home.
Once the Facebook Home app is installed and running, it will behave like a shell or layer that obscures the underlying Android mobile operating system. This has been a major complaint voiced by most users except those who are unquestionable Facebook addicts.
Facebook mobile is already one of the most popular apps in the world; its mobile users should have a choice when it comes to accessing their profiles and interacting with their social media contacts.
Facebook Home is too forceful in this sense; a social network should not behave as a shell program or an operating system. In this regard, the HTC First is a good choice for devoted Facebook users; the rest should be allowed to access the network and its services without their smartphones becoming hijacked by Facebook Home.
This is a guest post by Skylar James. Skylar is a freelance tech writer and gadget enthusiast currently representing clear, a High speed Internet provider