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Shhh. Genius at Work at Facebook


Looks like the techies behind the “Facebook phone” based on the Android platform were iPhone users and didn’t design their product to meet the needs of actual Android phone users. This is the kind of  short-sightedness you’d expect from a kid selling lemonade for the first time, not from a major company like Facebook. TechCrunch has the details:

Facebook didn’t realize just how important widgets, docks, and app folders were to Android users, and that leaving them out of Home was a huge mistake. That’s because some of the Facebookers who built and tested Home normally carry iPhones, I’ve confirmed. Lack of “droidfooding” has left Facebook scrambling to add these features, whose absence have led Home to just 1 million downloads since launching a month ago.

As I wrote in November, Facebook has been desperately trying to get more employees “droidfooding” — carrying and testing Android devices. You can see the posters encouraging employees to pick up a droid below. The issue was that Facebook handed out iPhones to employees for years. Facebookers could request an Android handset, but otherwise would basically get an Apple phone by default. That wasn’t as dangerous years ago when the iPhone still had more marketshare and Facebook users, but since then Android has rocketed into the lead. If Facebook wants to reach the largest audience, it needs employees living and breathing Google’s mobile operating system.

The lack of droidfooders didn’t have serious consequences until Home, Facebook’s new “apperating system”. It replaces the lock screen, homescreen, and app launcher of compatible Android phones with a Facebook-centric experience. It offers Cover Feed, a big, beautiful way to browser the news feed the second you bring your phone out of sleep. It’s missing the ability to build real-time information widgets, put your most used apps in a persistently visible dock, or organize your collection of apps into folders.

The rest here.


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