So Facebook finally released their much awaited (and much criticized?) Facebook Home launcher for Android devices yesterday, to put the Facebook experience front and center on your Android device. Initially, only the Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 2, HTC One, One X, or One X+ are supported, but the omnipresent hacker community has already ported it to work on every Android device.
Facebook Home is a launcher that replaces your current homescreen with your Facebook feed, while also replacing the lockscreen with a slide show of all your pictures on Facebook. You can browse through all your posts on Facebook without ever having to open any app, and also open any of your installed apps via the integrated app drawer.
Facebook’s Messenger service is also integrated, along with a novel feature called “Chat Heads.” Chat Heads hovers new incoming messages on the screen and allows you to reply them from anywhere on the device, without ever leaving the current app you’re in – along with Facebook messages, you can also do the same for any SMS message that you receive. Pretty neat, something that I hope instant messaging apps copy outright to make chatting with friends faster and quicker.
So if you’re looking to give Facebook Home a try but don’t have a device that qualifies in the officially supported list, you can instead download the ported version which works on all devices. Do keep in mind that Facebook Home isn’t a proper homescreen launcher replacement, as things like widgets, wallpapers, or any sort of customization are not allowed – your homescreen will strictly be a hub for all your Facebook content and nothing more.
Grab your Android device and follow the instructions below to install Facebook Home. Tablets aren’t supported yet, so you’ll only be able to install it on your phone for now.
NOTE: If you have the Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 2, HTC One, One X, or One X+, you can directly install Facebook Home from the Play Store. This procedure is only for those on other devices than the ones mentioned. Also, tablets
How to Install Facebook Home
- First, you’ll have to uninstall both Facebook and Facebook Messenger apps if they are already installed on your device, otherwise Facebook Home will fail to install. Do that by heading into Settings » Apps (or Settings » Applications » Manage Applications), then go to next step.
- Download the Facebook Home APK files. Download the file linked below, then extract it somewhere to get two files named com.facebook.katana.apk and com.facebook.home.apk. Use a program like WinRAR to extract.
Download Facebook Home
- Also download Facebook Messenger, which will get you the Chat Heads and Messenger features. If you don’t want those, then simply don’t install it as it isn’t required for Facebook Home to work.
Download Messenger | Filename: com.facebook.orca.apk
- Copy all three .APK files – com.facebook.katana.apk, com.facebook.home.apk, and com.facebook.orca.apk – to your device.
- Enable “Unknown sources” under the Settings » Security (Settings » Applications on Gingerbread) menu on the device, so that you can manually install apps from the SD card.
- You’ll need a file manager to browse through your device’s storage. You can install OI file manager or ES File Explorer or any other file manager app from the Play Store if needed.
- Open file manager and navigate to where you transferred the APK files. First, tap on the com.facebook.katana.apk file and install it to install the main Facebook app.
- Then, tap on com.facebook.home.apk to install the Facebook Home app. Then install the Messenger app by clicking on the com.facebook.orca.apk file (not required if you don’t want Messenger).
- Once you’ve installed all three, open the Facebook app. Go into its Settings and enable Facebook Home. Once you do that, the phone will ask you to select your default launcher. Select Home here as default to start up Facebook Home.
- Uninstalling/Disabling Facebook Home: If you want to uninstall or disable Facebook Home (I’m guessing most will want to after a while), simply go into the Facebook app’s settings and disable Facebook Home. Or you can also open the settings of the Home app itself, then select the “Turn Off Facebook Home” option to turn it off.
Facebook Home should now be installed on your device, and you should be able to see all your latest posts and stuff from your Facebook account right on the homescreen. Enjoy the new experience, and don’t forget to check the source link for updates to the Facebook Home app.