An Early Version of Facebook Home Is Out in the Wild

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For those looking to get an early version of Facebook Home it's not worth downloading this leak that came out this morning, since its "rather buggy and incomplete," according to Paul O'Brien of MoDaCo who discovered the early release. While the software leak seems to work on more than just the select Android devices mentioned during the unveiling of Facebook's new smartphone, some of the most highly touted features, like the useful texting feature Chat Heads, do not function. Even so, this is the closest look that anyone has had at the software outside of Facebook's press event last Thursday

There are some details in the screen shots at MoDaCo which weren't mentioned last week, such these settings, which suggests that users have some control of what shows up on Home's home screen.

It looks like it works kind of like push notification settings, such that people who don't want certain things popping up can block those things. That "Pages" setting also suggests that posts from "Pages" —as in: brands—don't have to pop up in the constant feed of images populating the home screen. While Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Home won't have ads (yet), it's not clear that applies to a company's page that someone subscribes to. This indicates that it does not—a sneaky way for the network to squeeze in some ads. (Though, it should be noted: Facebook does not make money off of brand page posts, unless a company pays to promote them.) 

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In addition to these settings, it looks like home screen has automatic Instagram integration, too:

That bodes well for the quality of photos showing up as the background of our phones. At least in my experience, baby and partying pictures mostly relegate themselves to Facebook proper, whereas Instagram—maybe because of the filters?—has less people and more (sometimes pretty!) stuff. 

For those who want to check out Home early, The Next Web has an easy tutorial for how to download this leak. But, given the functional limitations, it's probably worth waiting until Friday to get the full-blown, working version of the "apperating system."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.