A.J. Feather

Journalist, Developer

I'm a Missouri native currently seeking a dual masters in computer science and journalism from Columbia University in New York City. Every week I also host an awesome podcast called "Integrate" with my friend Mikah, which you can find at Integrate.FM.

Before moving to New York, I obtained undergraduate degrees in journalism and economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia. In Columbia, I hosted a weekly show called "Talking Politics" for KBIA, the local NPR member station and produced, wrote and anchored video for Newsy.com way too early in the morning.

There has never been a political column I did not enjoy reading or an Apple product I did not enjoy using.

Facebook Home: Apps or Friends?

The way we interact with the web continues to evolve.  It seems we may be coming upon the next generation of devices and operating systems.  In 2010 when Apple released the iPad, the desktop-free and laptop-free world seemed closer than ever. The question is, exactly how do people want to connect with their technology, with each other, or more importantly, with technology? Facebook thinks they have one of the possibilities in the works - Home.  Facebook Home transforms the Android operating system's home screen into your facebook feed  with quick access to Facebook Messenger.  Facebook's approach is a little different than some had an anticipated.  They're not building a phone.  They're building software, and that software is built within Google's playground.

There are a few weird quirks like the fact that Home appears above the the PIN entry screen and you can't create any folders or use widgets in home.  It also changes up Android's standard messaging app.  As ABC News writes in an April 9 article, "No matter what app you are in, when you receive a Facebook message the profile photo of that friend will appear in a little circular bubble."

HTC's on board, releasing the appropriately named "HTC First," which will be the first phone pre-loaded with Facebook Home.  But the First isn't really a top tier phone.  ABC writes, "While One, Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5 are high-end phones, the First is considered mid-tier."  With just a 5-megapixel camera, it doesn't quite measure up to high-end phone. However, the phone does have a Snapdragon processor.

The battle will continue.  Next, it's Apple's move.  The rumors keep swirling around iOS 7.  iPhone Hacks released these concept images of the possible new operating system.  What's interesting is that these images are actually very close to what I used to see on jailbroken phones.  Then again, Apple's been known to use jailbroken phones as a sort of unofficial laboratory.

Regardless, it's anybody's game.  If I had to guess, I'd say Facebook Home won't take off too quickly, but it's concept will stay alive.  People want to be social.  That said, Android certainly has a lot of power, owning the system Facebook home runs on.  Google might be ok with just owning the base software though, depending on how much revenue it can generate.  The question is, do people prefer social media or their phone's full functionality?

Sources:

http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/9/4206168/facebook-home-review-android

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/facebook-home-htc-review-facebook-takes-face-phone/story?id=18916810#.UWd8wr_ClfE