So, despite the fact that it’s incredibly creepy and I’m probably first against the wall when the Zuckerdroids are deployed, I still went to my friendly local cellular provider to try out Facebook Home because it can’t be that bad, right?
It was… unmemorable. There are flaws, ranging from an inability to merge your contacts and your Facebook friends to the fact that the illusion is broken by other apps. But there is one thing about Home that’s genuinely great: That lockscreen.
It sounds like a joke, but it’s not. I was able to log in to my Facebook and immediately the appeal was obvious. Large text, large pictures, and it’s a simple swipe and tap interface: Swipe right to move to the next photo or status, double-tap on it to like, tap the icons to comment or share.
It’s simple, it’s engaging, it’s intuitive… it’s everything, quite frankly, the current Facebook apps for both Android and iOS aren’t. Those apps are, frankly, busy and badly designed, in an aesthetic sense. They’re useful enough for checking Facebook, but they’re strictly in the category of apps you use waiting for the bus or because you’re checking a notification to see if it’s something important.
That’s the thing about the Home lockscreen, it actually makes Facebook interesting again. Scrolling through and looking at stuff, one screen at a time, is oddly relaxing and fun, giving looking through Facebook the sense of anticipation. Really all it needs is a Dislike button.
Hopefully, once Facebook comes to its senses and realizes that few people are going to voluntarily feed everything they say and do to a reskin of Android that can’t quite realize its ambition, we’ll be able to get this as a standalone app. Until then, we’ll have to settle for the crappy version.