On Thursday, Facebook launched Home, a new piece of software that changes the interface on Android phones, offering more integration with the social networking service. Facebook is touting Home as a boon for the mobile development industry, saying it will improve app discovery and encourage users to engage with apps. “It’s never been easier to reengage with people using your app,” blogged Facebook’s Jenny Yuen.
But VentureBeat warns that Home “just might be the death knell for developers whose Android apps don’t integrate with any of Facebook’s APIs.” Gartner research director Brian Blau concurred, saying, “Home looks like an OS and acts like an operating system, but it’s not. It will still tend to take over your device. … all of a sudden, that is the primary interface. And that can’t be good for Google or for non-Facebook Android developers.”