Last Friday Facebook released Facebook Home for a limited number of Android phones as well as the Facebook Home dedicated phone HTC First. My HTC Vivid was not included among the phones with Home access, but Facebook did update their Messenger app with the new Chat Head feature from Home. So I got to play with that a bit over the weekend.
Verdict: I like it!
I'm not always impressed with Facebook updates, but Chat Heads was pretty much a brilliant maneuver on their part. I discovered the greatness of it while using it on my tablet that I was using for a crochet pattern. Normally when I get a new message I have to x-out of what I'm doing and go find Messenger or pull down the notification bar, then when I'm done I usually hit back, which typically backs all the way out of the app, or I hit home then have to go find my pattern again.
With Chat Heads the head pops up on the side, conveniently out of the way of what I'm reading. When I tap it it opens a chat box over whatever else I have open, then when I want to close it I hit back and I'm right back to where I started.
I feel like I'm explaining this really dumbly and sounded petty at normally having to tap a few extra buttons, but after using it I've really grown to like it.
One thing I don't like (and I dunno if this is just a fluke on my part or how it actually is) is that the Chat Heads overlap on the screen. I can't just tap the head I want. Instead, I have to tap whichever head is on top then when it opens there's a bar at the top where I can choose the conversation I want. I mean, no biggie there, but I'd like to be able to have the heads spread out.
The Chat Head hangs out of the screen until you get rid of it so your conversation is always only a tap away. This comes in handy when chatting with my sister while watching The Walking Dead and crocheting. It's so easy to go back and forth to what I want.
Back to Home...
My husband has an HTC One X which is pretty much a HTC flagship right now so he got Facebook Home. He's played with it a bit but he's not impressed. He's also not on FB nearly as much as I am, but after hanging over his shoulder I honestly don't see much point either unless you're a 12 year old who does nothing but play on FB 24/7. It's neat when you're reading a status how the cover photo is in the background. It's pretty, but that's about it. Maybe if Home gets an expanded release to other Android phones I'll get the chance to play with it more and let you know.