Facebook ports Home's Cover Feed to flagship Android app

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Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is overhauling its Android social networking application with the addition of Cover Feed, an alternative lockscreen first introduced as part of the Facebook Home launcher.

Facebook Home, unveiled in early April, is an alternative homescreen that pushes the social media giant's mobile services to the forefront of the Android user interface. With the release of the latest Facebook for Android update, users can set Cover Feed as their device lockscreen, letting them view photos and updates from their Facebook friends without installing the complete Home package.

"Cover Feed has been a popular element of the Home experience, and making it available from the Facebook Android app makes it accessible for more people," a Facebook spokesperson told CNet. Facebook notes that the standalone Cover Feed is available exclusively to Android devices that support the full-fledged Home experience, including the HTC First, HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and Nexus 4.

The move to extend Cover Feed to Facebook's flagship Android app casts doubt on the future of the standalone Facebook Home experience. The app remains limited to only a handful of Android devices, and among the roughly 21,700 consumers who've submitted Home reviews to the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play marketplace, close to half have awarded it just one star, the digital storefront's lowest rating.

Facebook has promised significant improvements directly inspired by consumer comments, and in June it rolled out a favorites tray allowing consumers to customize their Home experience by pinning the other apps and games they use most, a move to assuage criticisms that Home is too rigid and makes it too difficult to access other mobile features and functions. Last month, Facebook Home also added new folders for organizing applications.

Facebook now boasts 819 million mobile active users, increasing 51 percent over the second quarter of 2012. Mobile daily active users now exceed 469 million. "Nearly half a billion people use Facebook on their phones every day and soon we'll have more revenue on mobile than on desktop," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during the company's second-quarter earnings conference call last week.

For more:
- read this CNet article

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