Facebook introduced their “Home” app which converts Android handsets into a Facebook phone, replacing the Android homescreen with a Facebook experience which includes images, status updates, and notifications. If you think that this is just good for Facebook, think again. Let’s take a look why this new app is good for both Facebook and Google, and why Apple comes into the picture.
For Google, many might say, this app is bad news. Via Android the search giant is able to pull users towards its services, such as Maps and Gmail, and its ads. But when Home comes into the picture, Facebook comes between users and Google, steering customers to the social network’s own services and ads. For hardcore users of Facebook, the Home app is certainly exciting since from now on they don’t have to get tired finding the Facebook app and opening it before being able to take a look at updates from friends.
But that excitement is available only on Android and that’s what is good for Google and that’s where Apple comes in. Google said in a statement, “The Android platform has spurred the development of hundreds of different types of devices. This latest device demonstrates the openness and flexibility that has made Android so popular”. “Hundreds” mean the more choices available to customers via Android, something that they don’t get from Apple. The “latest device” which is the HTC First shows the openness and flexibility of Android; here Google is reminding everyone about Apple’s restrictions. Facebook couldn’t have introduced Home if Google followed a strategy similar to that of Apple.
Google also said, “And it’s a win for users who want a customized Facebook experience from Google Play — the heart of the Android ecosystem — along with their favorite Google services like Gmail, Search, and Google Maps”. It seems that the company wants to make sure that the attention is back on its own services.
So there is no need for Facebook to come out with its own OS or phone and Google gets to fire darts at Apple. Although Apple won’t be too worried about all these, they surely will take it seriously as iPhone users could soon start asking questions such as why a feature like Home is not available on their device.