The bad news continues to roll in for Facebook Home and the HTC First, as TechCrunch reported that U.K. mobile carrier EE and French counterpart Orange both confirmed that they will not roll out the only mobile device to come preloaded with the Android overlay.
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.
The HTC First, announced as the flagship Android device for Facebook Home, now costs less than a fast-food cheeseburger (well, before taxes and fees). AT&T has discounted the price of the HTC First from $99.99 to $0.99, with a two-year agreement.
Even though Android overlay Facebook Home was introduced April 4, after the first quarter had already ended, those expecting Home to be a big part of Facebook’s first-quarter earnings call Wednesday were sorely disappointed.
Facebook can no longer push updates or beta updates to its Android users via Android overlay Home, as Google updated the terms and conditions of its Google Play store to close the loophole that was being used by the social network and other developers.
Android overlay Facebook Home topped the 500,000-download mark on Google Play over the weekend despite only being available on a handful of devices.
Some tech-savvy users of Android devices were able to experiment with a pre-release version of Facebook Home prior to its scheduled release in the Google Play store Friday on selected smartphones, but it seems that Facebook was able to pull the plug on the unauthorized preview.
Despite being the creator of the Android mobile operating system that will be the home of Facebook Home, the new overlay introduced by the social network Thursday, Google was noticeably absent from the festivities.
Facebook continues to update its mobile applications, and this time it was Android’s turn, as the social network officially rolled out an update that it had quietly begun pushing to users last week outside of the Google Play store.