Facebook Home Seemingly Abandoned
Facebook has disbanded the team that developed Facebook Home, its replacement home screen for Android devices. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the New York Times reports engineers assigned to Facebook Home have been reassigned to other departments within the company. Facebook launched Home in April 2013 along with the HTC First smartphone. Both were considered to be failures within weeks of launch, with poor uptake and negative reviews. Home offered an alternative home screen to Android devices that replaced the user interface with links to status updates, the camera, and other sharing tools. Facebook has not updated Home since January, but the app is still available from the Google Play Store. Earlier this year, Facebook released Paper, an app that repackages the Facebook Newsfeed into a more digestible digital magazine. Facebook did not comment on the Times' story.
HTC Updates Lock Screen and Sense Home Apps
HTC has made updates available to its Lock Screen and Sense Home apps for the One M9 and other handsets. The Lock Screen gains a significant refresh thanks to Lollipop-style notifications, full-screen album artwork during music playback, and more detailed local weather information.
Facebook Releases 'Lite' App for Android Phones
Facebook today announced Facebook Lite, a version of the social network that uses less data and will work on less-robust network connections. The Facebook Lite app is just 1MB to install, and Facebook claims it loads quickly and offers core features, such as News Feed, status updates, photos, and notifications.
Instagram for Windows Grabs Huge Update
Facebook today announced three new apps for the Windows 10 platform, including a proper Instagram app for phones, and dedicated Facebook and Messenger apps for desktops. The Instagram app for Windows 10 Mobile includes features that have long been available only to the Android and iOS apps, including Instagram Direct, videos, the Explore tab, and more.
Facebook Streamlines Messenger
Facebook today said it is simplifying the main screen of Facebook Messenger, returning the app's focus to messaging. Facebook has over the last year added numerous features to the messaging tool and the app's usability has suffered somewhat as a result.
So I guess that would leave them...