That Was Quick: Facebook for iOS Is Already Looking More Like Facebook Home

Four days after Facebook Home's release, its Chat Heads feature has migrated to the iPhone and iPad.

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There are plenty of things about Facebook Home, Facebook’s new home screen for Android phones, that won’t make their way to iOS any time soon — Apple shows no interest in allowing third-party home screens, pop-up applets and other technologies that Home requires.

I was, however, optimistic my favorite thing about Home — Chat Heads, its new interface for chatting with friends — would make its way to iOS at some point. I didn’t expect it to happen just four days after Home became available for Android, but thanks to a new version of Facebook for iPhone and iPad that’s rolling out today, it has.

While they look similar to their Android, um, ancestors, iOS’s Chat Heads only pop up when you’re using the Facebook app — in iOS, there’s no way to implement them everywhere in the operating system so that they show up no matter which app you’re using. Still, they should be a fun and useful addition.

Other new features in this update include stickers — basically jumbo-sized emoji — and a refresh to the iPad version, which makes News Feed photos bigger and more in line with the current look of Facebook’s conventional browser-based version. The Verge’s Dieter Bohn has more details on what’s changed.

In semi-related news: in an oblique tweet, a Facebook exec disclosed that Loren Brichter, perhaps the most influential designer of mobile apps in the world, is now contributing to Facebook Home. It’s not clear whether it’s a full-time job or a consulting gig or what. But Brichter is a remarkably clever designer of software interfaces, so there’s no way this isn’t a happy development.