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Facebook updates iOS app as Facebook Home rolls out in the UK

Brings Chat Heads to the iPhone ahead of Android rollout
Wed Apr 17 2013, 10:33

SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook has released an updated iOS app that boasts some of the features of Facebook Home, just hours ahead of its full Home rollout. 

Yesterday Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg hinted that the firm planned to bring new features to its iOS users, and hours later it released an updated iOS app.

Bumping the Facebook iOS app to version 6.0, the updated app delivers some of the features found on Facebook Home to the iPhone and iPad.

Chief among these is Facebook's new messaging tool Chat Heads, which pops up a friend's face in the app when they send you a message. Unlike Facebook Home on Android, the iOS app can't also integrate SMS messages and doesn't work outside of the app itself, but we see this as only a good thing.

Facebook 6.0 for iOS with Chat heads

The refreshed Facebook for iOS app introduces Stickers too, although these only seem to work between two devices with the updated app. These are essentially large emoticons, and can be sent by tapping the smiley face in the messaging box.

Facebook for iOS has also been given a lick of paint. On first impression it's noticeable that fonts have been tweaked and image size has been increased, and the app seems to run more smoothly than before.

While this all sounds well and good, we're not sure that the updated Facebook app is going to go down well with iPhone owners though, as INQUIRER readers were click to slam the idea when we reported Facebook's iOS app plans yesterday.

One reader saw Facebook Home as little more than a way for Facebook to push ads at consumers. He said, "Why don't people realize that the whole purpose of facebook is no longer for our benefit but rather to reach as many people as possible for as long as possible to sell advertising and other third party services.

"They would love you to have it on all day so that more and more ads can appear and they can make more money."

Another reader wasn't a fan of Facebook in general, and said Facebook Home is a waste of time as nobody will use it. "For some reason I only care about people I interact with on a real and human basis," they said.

Still, it's likely that Facebook Home will receive a more welcoming arrival on Android, and Facebook said that Facebook Home is rolling out to devices from today. Compatible devices include the HTC One, HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. It will also be available on the HTC First, and this is expected to arrive on EE this summer.

Facebook 6.0 for iOS is available to download for free from the iTunes Store. µ


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