Android users expecting a completely new launcher experience through Facebook Home certainly experienced something new. Unfortunately, they didn’t like it. Facebook Home is drawing heavy flak for its lack of widgets, app folders, and docks.
When Facebook Home was announced, many articles were written about how Facebook tried to steal the mobile market through Android and right under Google’s nose. A month after the release, it seems that Google’s expertise with its own mobile operating system is more valuable than Facebook’s push to slap on pretty pictures from your feed right from the lock screen.
For a launcher, Facebook Home is found severely wanting by most Android users. Interestingly, TechCrunch has developed a theory that this is due to the Home developers’ lack of “droidfood”.
For many years, iPhones had dominated the market and it was almost a reflex that Facebook employees ask for one upon hiring. This has apparently lead to a severe lack of Android-using employees in the Facebook workforce. Facebook’s efforts to sponsor nutrition programs and give out “droidfood” to employees must have been unheeded as evidenced by Facebook Home’s seeming lack of idea of what a true Android launcher should be.
The Facebook Home launcher offers Cover Feed, which is admittedly a beautiful way to find out what’s happening on your News Feed. However, it’s missing the capability to host widgets, put your most oft used apps in an easy-to-reach dock, or even at the very least, organize your apps into folders.
For a workforce dominated by non-widget capable iPhone employees, those things wouldn’t be apparent and the naivete seems to have cost Facebook big time. The majority of Android users just don’t see the appeal of a beautiful cover feed versus the loss of widgets and app docks.
It is apparent that Facebook needs to be even more proactive in making employees actually use the device that they are developing for lest they make misstep after misstep. As for the fate of Facebook Home, it’s time to scale it back a little and make some basic changes to make it more of the launcher that it has promised to be.