Facebook Home: 5 things it needs to change to become your homescreen
Facebook Home brings the social network right to the homescreen of your Android phone. While that might be enough for the diehard Facebook fan, there are a few areas in which we’d like to see improvements before we would adopt it as an essential app.
So here’s our checklist, for Zuck and the gang, to make Facebook Home better.
Smartphones are about apps, we live and breathe apps and Facebook Home currently pushes everything aside. We need to have core apps like Gmail, Maps and the dialler within instant reach. We use them constantly, we don’t want to have to jump through Facebook first to get there.
Facebook Home lets you arrange apps within the apps tray, but it doesn’t go far enough. Modern Android phones like the Sony Xperia Z or the HTC One let you make folders within the apps tray to make it really easy to organise what you want.
There’s a disparity between SMS and Facebook messaging within the Facebook Messenger app. SMS needs to be more enhanced, the chat-like visuals are too lightweight. You have to tap on each message to see when it was sent or received and re-sending after failure appears to be a manual process. It needs to be beefed up to make it a viable SMS application.
It also doesn’t support MMS. You might be running Facebook Home on your phone, but you might be sending a picture to someone who doesn’t use Facebook at all (gasp!). Having to use an alternative service just to get the functions you want makes Facebook Home less appealing.
There are some nice notification elements in Facebook Home, but there are some obvious omissions. Sure, we accept that Facebook needs to plug into manufacturer APIs to get the full notifications experience, but we’d like notifications to reflect missed calls, at the very least.
With so much of Facebook about social sharing, it’s a real surprise to find that there’s nothing to let you shoot and share right up front. With Instagram also in Facebook’s corner, wouldn’t it be great to have something in Facebook Home to give you direct access to the camera? That would make it so much easier to share in a flash.