Facebook Home phones will be officially available to anyone with a supported Android device on Friday, but some clever folks at MoDaCo obtained the code in advance of its release and then leaked it, allowing people to play around with it early. The Verge posted a nice walk-through of the main features(video below), but what really caught our attention was the bit about how easy it is to access your most-recently-used app.
Say you’re jogging, to use the example cited by Facebook product designer Joey Flynn below. You want to skip to the next track in your music app of choice, because the one that’s playing is ruining your jogging fun.
In the worst-case scenario, this involves entering your unlock code; searching for the app’s icon (or even worse, typing its name in the search box); opening the app; and then tapping the skip button. Hey, look, your heart rate just dropped because you’re not exercising anymore! This is why one way of looking at personal technology these days is that smartphones are the most broken thing about apps.
Facebook Home phones streamline the process, albeit only slightly. But every tap counts when you’re just trying to skip a song, so even a minor improvement here is welcome.
On a Facebook Home phone, when you press and hold your own little “chat head,” which appears at the bottom of Facebook Home phones, you can swipe to the right to go straight to your most recently-used app. That means it’s also pretty useful for skipping a song as you check your Facebook updates (which you’d presumably be doing a lot of, if you’re the type to want a Facebook Home phone).
Clearly, this little music-app-shortcut is not earth-shattering stuff, but given that the music apps in smartphones are so much harder to control than a CD player or tape deck, it’s worth our attention.
Image courtesy of The Verge