First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
Facebook Home hits HTC One and (unofficially) the Galaxy S4
- — 10 May, 2013 19:56
Facebook Home's ratings may be lukewarm, but the social network interface is spreading to more smartphones. Home for Android is now available on the flagship HTC One and unofficially it works with Samsung's Galaxy S4.
When Facebook introduced Home in April, it landed initially on HTC First, but Facebook said the interface would appear on the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4. But prospective users who downloaded the app from Google Play were greeted by a "device not supported" message.
Then Facebook announced the million downloads milestone and a new version of the app launcher became available in Google Play. Android Central spotted that Facebook added support for the HTC One, and unofficially for the Galaxy S4 and Sony Xperia ZL. You'll still get a "not supported" message when installing Facebook Home on these devices, but will also see an option to "use Home anyway" and it works. Facebook supports Home on the Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Note II, HTC One X, and HTC One X+.
Mixed reviews continue
Facebook wants you to think otherwise, but figures so far show that Home is not the runaway success the social network envisioned. One million downloads in one month is just a drop in the sea for Facebook, which has more than 1 billion users worldwide. Given that half a billion Android phones are out there, Home's adoption is not exactly stellar. Even Instagram for Android (after it was bought by Facebook) hit 5 million downloads in just six days after its launch.
Facebook Home's sluggish first month also reflects on the HTC First, the inaugural handset. AT&T launched the HTC First priced at $99 with a two-year contract, but the carrier quietly dropped its price to a buck--a clear sign that the phone is not selling well. AT&T insists the price drop is a temporary promotion. As my colleague Armando Rodriguez put it, "The limited nature of Facebook Home, coupled with underwhelming specs, has effectively made the First into the last phone anyone would want to buy."
It's not only reviewers who panned the HTC First and the self-centered idea of Facebook Home. Users dislike it too, if the ratings for the app on Google Play are any indication. Out of 1 million downloads, Facebook Home has just over 16,000 ratings, with an overall score of two out of five stars. The majority of the ratings are 1 star (8510), with only 2834 five-star ratings, and everything else in between.
Here's a sampling of some user reviews: "If I wanted a phone with no widgets and customization I would have bought an iPhone," said one reviewer. Another uninstalled Facebook Home after one minute and said, "Just takes a nice phone and ruins the interface. Waste of time."