Summary:

Launchers are nothing new to Android, having been around for a few years now. That’s why I’m not surprised a Facebook Home style launcher is already available in the Google Play store.

Facebook Android Home
photo: Om Malik

Those who can’t wait until Friday to get Facebook Home on their Android handset can get a similar, but limited, experience now. Widdit, the maker of an Android home screen customization tool called HomeBase, quickly whipped up HomeBase Social, a Facebook Home lookalike that works on any Android 2.2 or better phone. Facebook Home will initially be limited to a half-dozen phones.

I’m not too surprised that we already have a Facebook Home clone of sorts. Even with all the hoopla of last week’s Facebook event, Facebook Home in its current state is still little more than a custom launcher for Android. These types of skins have been around for a few years now. Sure, Facebook Home has Chat Heads, which is a nifty approach to messaging, and you won’t find that in HomeBase Social.

homebase socialInstead, you get full-screen Facebook status updates and pictures on your Android’s home screen, although unlike the official Facebook launcher, you can’t like a status. HomeBase Social also provides one touch lock screen access to up to five apps of your choice and your camera. You can also add custom screens and widgets to have the launcher look the way you want.

The launcher is a little buggy on my Galaxy Note 2, so I don’t think I’ll keep it installed. It’s still a limited subset of what Facebook Home will provide. My Note 2 will be officially supported on Friday, anyway. However, Widdit gives you a nice idea of what Facebook Home will look like on your own phone while also showing off their custom launcher product.

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