It’s worth pointing out that Facebook Home as an Android homescreen lacks support for shortcuts on the main screen, and does not support widgets in any way.
In essence, Facebook Home is one giant widget that gets you access to Facebook in a constant streaming way, but anything else you plan on using through widgets – work emails, calendar, Pandora playback – can’t be used here.
Facebook, however, is easier to browse than it ever has been.
Flicking through stories put online by your friends and family on a homescreen can draw you in quickly, and a double tap on any one of them quickly “likes” the story, allowing you to keep up to date with everyone without even thinking.
But then there is the message system, which confuses us a tad.
On the left side of the menu is the shortcut for messaging, which brings you into Facebook’s recent Messaging application, which does its best to unite your SMS app and Facebook’s own message and conversations feature.
In essence, when you send a message to someone on Facebook Home, the messaging app will almost always try to send that person a Facebook message first, not an SMS, even if you wanted to send an SMS.
Your address book would be loaded up from Facebook, too, and even if you wanted to send an SMS – which doesn’t require internet access from phones to read – you will almost always be sending a Facebook conversation message.
You can send proper phone-based SMS from this app, but we found it worked best when you typed in the phone number, which, once again, isn’t the same, and certainly isn’t as convenient as being able to use your address book to send short messages to other mobile phones.
Interestingly, Facebook Home doesn’t take over the messaging application on your Android smartphone. In fact, it doesn’t replace much more than the homescreen and menu system, with your phone dialler, contacts, calendar, and email clients still working the way they originally did when you first received your phone.
In the case of our Samsung Galaxy S3, this meant that we could still use our regular SMS shortcut to send messages to everyone outside of the Facebook app, which would then see that we had sent an SMS and add that to its own listing.
This half-handed SMS-Facebook messaging problem can make Facebook Home seem a little silly, especially since sending a Facebook message and sending an SMS are two entirely different things.
There’s also another problem with Facebook Home, and that comes from speed and stability.