You Don’t Need Facebook Home to Get Your Chat Heads On
But even those who don’t get Facebook Home can use one of its key features — Chat Heads.
Facebook is making Chat Heads available as part of an update to its Messenger app for Android — something it hadn’t touted when it announced Home last week.
The Chat Heads feature creates a persistent messaging experience that allows chatting with friends from within any other application. It is one of the main features of Facebook Home, which also offers a “Cover Feed” that replaces the home screen and lock screen of an Android phone with a scrolling array of pictures and status updates.
Facebook Home can be downloaded for a handful of phones including the Galaxy S III, HTC One, HTC One X and HTC One X+ and is available on a new mid-range phone from AT&T — the HTC First.
The Messenger app update is available to a broader range of Android users, appearing to require only that phones be running version 2.2 of the operating system or later.
Update: Facebook says the new Messenger app requires Android 2.2 (Froyo) but that the Chat Heads feature needs at least Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) along with “a sufficiently large screen.”