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Will Apple agree to an iPhone version of Facebook Home?
- — 17 April, 2013 07:07
Facebook could be in talks with Apple about creating an iPhone version of its new 'Home' software, according to reports today. But will it really happen? Not likely.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed off the company's new Home launcher for Android on 4 April, which replaces the usual home and lock screens with a slow-moving slideshow of your Facebook friends' status updates and check-ins, which you can Like and comment on through the use of gestures.
Adam Mosseri, Facebook's product director, apparently told Bloomberg in an interview on Monday that the company is speaking with both Apple and Microsoft about the possibility of expanding Home to iOS and Windows Phone, but that no plans have been finalised.
"We've shown them [Apple and Microsoft] what we've built and we're just in an ongoing conversation," Mosseri reportedly told Bloomberg.
Not so fast
Since Bloomberg published its report, however, The Next Web has claimed that a source from inside Facebook has quashed the speculation, stating that, while Facebook has a good relationship with Apple and Microsoft, there are no discussions about bringing Home to those platforms right now.
During the unveiling of Facebook Home earlier this month, Zuckerberg highlighted that his company already has a "great relationship" with Apple. "We are integrated into the operating system with them," he said. "We have an active dialogue to do more with them."
Apple won't lose control
We think its unlikely that Apple CEO Tim Cook will allow Facebook to take over the iPhone's home screen or lock screen, given the strict control Apple has traditionally maintained over iOS and the apps that make their way into the App Store
In Bloomberg's report Mosseri seemed to agree, but suggests that the version of Home that Facebook creates for iPhone could be significantly different to the Android version, and could be "tailored to what Apple prefers."
"It may or may not be Home," he said. "We could also bring some of the design values to the iOS app. That might be how it ends up. Or we could just build the lock screen. Maybe then it's not called Home, it's called something else."
When Facebook launched Home, Zuckerberg told Fortune: "We'd love to offer this on iPhone, and we just can't today, and we will work with Apple to do the best experience that we can within what they want."
Bloomberg claimed that Facebook hopes to create an iPhone version of Home in order to boost revenue from Facebook users who access the social network on smaller screens. This suggests that the company wants to serve ads on the iPhone version. Zuckerberg has already said that he's "sure" ads will arrive on Home "at some point," but Apple is highly unlikely to allow Facebook to post ads that will appear on the home screen or lock screen of its devices.
We're not alone in our belief that Facebook Home isn't likely to be arriving on iPhone any time soon, especially if it wants to take over Apple's home or lock screens. CNet's Roger Cheng says Apple "would never willingly give up control of its home screen."
"Even if Facebook was talking, it seems very unlikely that Apple and Microsoft are listening," adds The Verge. "Unless both companies were to radically change course and open up their operating systems for Facebook, it would be a one-sided conversation."
Apple is rumoured to be working on a significant overhaul for iOS 7 under the leadership of design guru Jony Ive, and some hope that the changes may see Apple relax its closed operating system, which could make the possibility of an iPhone version of Facebook Home a possibility. However, Apple has not officially revealed any details about its plans for iOS 7, and isn't expected to show of the update until its Worldwide Developers Conference in June.
Would you like to see a version of Facebook Home on iPhone? Let us know your thoughts in our comments section below, or on Twitter.