In February, Facebook Director of Engineering Jocelyn Goldfein said the social network was not scrapping its sputtering Home Android overlay, but a lot has apparently changed in four months, as The New York Times’ Bits blog reported that the team of engineers that had been working on Home has been disbanded.
When Facebook introduced Home, as well as the flagship HTC First device, it felt weird to call it a phone. There’s little to no customization, as there is with most smart phones on the market, and it seems like that’s what turned off users. But the planned updates announced Thursday show that Facebook is planning to turn Home-enabled phones back into, well, phones. However, Facebook Home could just be a guinea pig for the company to develop something better in the future.
On the Google Play store, Facebook Home users have made their voices heard. As of Thursday, there are more than 8,300 one-star reviews of the application, compared with 2,700-plus five-star reviews, with Facebook Home earning an average rating of 2.2. During a media session Thursday with selected reporters, Facebook talked about how the company has taken these reviews into consideration and will give users better access to apps over the next couple of months.
Many users have been unhappy with Facebook Home, the company’s mobile platform on Android. Facebook will release a small update Thursday to Home, but it will mainly be bug fixes and minor improvements. Two lead engineers told a select group of reporters Thursday that the first update to Home will be released Thursday afternoon, with greater updates available within the next two months.