Prior to Facebook Home release, Messenger update brings Chat Heads to all

Daniel Bader

April 12, 2013 12:29pm

Screenshot_2013-04-12-10-50-39 (Small) Screenshot_2013-04-12-10-56-46

Facebook and Facebook Messenger have been updated this morning in anticipation of Home’s release later today. If you recall, Facebook Home is a launcher replacement that will bring a full screen of status updates and high-resolution photos to your Android device. While it’s not launching in Canada for another few weeks, its best feature, Chat Heads, has come to some devices on its own.

As an extension of Facebook Messenger, Chat Heads shows the avatar of the person you’re talking to, either via SMS or Messenger, as a little movable bubble on your screen. While it doesn’t look like the feature is limited to specific devices, we’re hearing reports that it’s being slowly enabled server-side, so the option to enable it may not appear for everyone until later.

After using Chat Heads as both a Facebook Messenger client and as my default SMS app, I can say that categorically it is one of the best features the company has ever shipped. It’s seamlessly integrated, easy to manipulate and dismiss, and extremely useful. Surprisingly so given the flexibility of Android and its myriad SMS clients, each boasting time-saving options of their own.

Dismissing a Chat Head is as easy as flicking the bubble quickly towards the bottom of the screen; moving it around just takes a small gesture. The chat window opens atop your current app, so unlike most messaging apps you don’t have to leave what you’re doing.

Download Facebook and Facebook Messenger for Android.

  • G Mohal

    awesome addon to messenger app.

    • mistermystery

      Agreed, I like the amalgamation of SMS and Messenger into one app.

  • silver_arrow

    I seriously hope Google implements something like this is Babble. I tried using it and it’s pretty fluid. Though i’m wondering when they are updating Facebook home. I like to use it as my lock screen replacement for when I unlock the device but still prefer Apex as the main homescreen

  • silver_arrow

    Yeah I think it’s less “won’t work in your country” and more of “this app is not available in your country” in the play store but the moment you install the APK it will work. I had the dev version up and running on my Nexus 4 before they nuked it

  • E

    Only thing I see is that awesome HTC One sense 5.0 skin

  • Gsizzle

    Damn Facebook is doing big things for Android. Me like.

  • Adam Fox

    Figure it would be up by now…..

  • Samuel Gomez Recuero

    great addition works like a charm and I love the Chat Heads

  • David Fradette

    Damn this is cool. I got it working on mine too and its fun, specially merging SMS with it too.

  • Wanker

    Can someone tell me what that Clock/Weather widget is?

  • Jeremy

    In the screenshot above, how do you get the folders to display like that (with the 4 complete icons showing)?

  • Shaun Chaudoin

    Galaxy nexus: do you see it now? I do and love it!!!