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Facebook Home: Potentially capable, or dead on arrival?

Facebook Home Mobile

Picture this: you go to a supermarket and you’re strolling down the frozen food section. You stop and take a moment to look at the pizza. Mmm – pizza. Just as you’re about to pop your selection in your cart, someone next to you pipes up. They tell you just how terrible that brand is, urging you not to buy it, saying it’s too salty, the cheese isn’t organic, and it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Recently, it seems like Facebook Home has become the Internet equivalent of that frozen pizza supermarket debacle.

Facebook Home has been attracting a lot of discussion these days. The new ‘apperating system’ for Android was much-anticipated and the results have been, to put it kindly, lukewarm. The program has only 500,000 to one million installs to its name, a fraction of Facebook’s supposed billion-plus user base.

As of this writing, reviews of the platform average at 2.2 out of 5 stars. Among the criticisms seen, the most common were how the app managed to drain the battery in no time and how the app itself should have had more functionality. The interface has an unpolished feel – but even this minimal version can assure that the phone will die faster than the meme of the week. This knowledge is probably why so many Facebook users haven’t taken the plunge to install it.

I seem to have a bad habit of being critical about new tech, but I believe that Facebook Home has a chance of becoming a more effective program. A few changes are needed though:

  1. For an apperating system connected with such a social media conglomerate, Facebook Home doesn’t truly boast that many features, apart from full-screen status updates. Why not integrate this into the previously established Facebook app, which, by comparison, is pretty robust and fleshed-out? It’s difficult to fathom why users are expected to jump between these two apps – it makes the whole process of using your phone more arduous and annoying. No, an integrated version wouldn’t get that many downloads, but it’d be a simpler option for fans to utilize, and could avoid that sad, half-lit star rating.
  2. The battery problem has to be fixed. These are devices designed to keep us in touch with people – all the time. I understand that there are ways to alter the settings so that data usage and image quality are lower but why does that have to be a step people have to take in order to ensure a more operable program? If people are to continually use this system, it has to be done without the battery dropping like Glass Joe to Little Mac.
  3. Facebook Home is supposed to be a social media centerpiece of sorts for your phone, meaning that it should be usable if calls have to be made. We want the dialer to be easy to access and to appear on the screen, plain as day. It’s 2013 – it’s absurd that users are finding themselves using more effort to make a phone call than they would with an old rotary-dial phone. Users have cited this problem countless times, and I think it amounts to a heinous misstep on Facebook’s part. This device is supposed to help me contact people, right? If this problem can’t be rectified, it’s probably best to consider this system dead on arrival.

If you downloaded Facebook Home, what is your take on it? What chances do you think should be made? If you’d like to leave a comment, by all means!

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