Facebook Home for Android & the HTC "First"

So, I've held off trying to talk about Facebook for a couple of reason...
  1. it's not out yet, why bother talking about it if I can't experience it yet
  2. it's of that 'other' social network, ... i'm not a fan of it, but it does generate some 'ire' from people out there
But, with the recent hooplah I figure I owed it at least an article.

Don't get me wrong, I'm actually excited about Facebook Home, and I'll get to the why later.  But first, let's talk about it and the First.

So, Facebook held an event the other day where big Z talked about Android.  Really, between him and the other presenters they mentioned the great work of Android and Google and used the word "OPEN" so much I think it's lost all meaning.

But what they showed wasn't a phone that some people expected but a new 'Home Launcher', much like Go Launcher, or Nova Launcher.  It's just an overlay over top of any other home launcher or skin.  Watch the video if you like:

So, pretty neat you might be saying... or you might be saying 'ewww... Facebook'.  Which is alright, I said that at first as well, but then I got really excited for it.

Here's why - it's a launcher, and hopefully since they based it off of 'open'ness there'll be others similar to it for other networks.  Or unification of other networks.  There's a lot of neat little 'innovations' in there.  Chat heads I think is especially cool.

I can wait for that!  If you want to try out the Launcher now, you can do one of 2 things... wait (it'll be out on April 12th for download - and in Canada we'll have to wait 2 weeks beyond that), or buy the newly introduced First.

The HTC First will be the 'first' phone to launch WITH the Home launcher.  Cool... but what's neat about the phone is that you can disable the custom launcher and run stock if you want as well.  I haven't seen any info on when it might be launching in Canada, so don't get your hopes too high (launching on AT&T for $99 on a 2 year plan, shipping out on April 10).

HTC First Specs
4.3" @ 720p (?)
1.4GHz x2 Snapdragon 400
JB 4.1
16GB storage
5MP / 1.6MP
The launcher had an early leak yesterday and folks were all up and trying it out, ready to rip into it and scream "Facebook cooties".  But, Zuck didn't want early releases so they shut down the central HQ on the launcher, disabling the launcher from working.

Which... that is kind of disconcerting.  I wonder how that was possible that they could shut you out of your own network (I guess there's some unique UA string to request the data that tells it it's from the launcher, so it doesn't return any data.... just a guess).

So, you going to try out the Facebook Home Launcher?