Facebook Bringing Chat Heads to iOS App

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Given iOS\’ typically closed nature, it\’s unlikely that Facebook\’s OS-dominating Home launcher will be coming to iPhones and iPads in full anytime soon. That doesn\’t mean that some of its better features can\’t arrive on Apple\’s devices, though, so today Facebook revealed that Facebook Home\’s Chat Heads messaging feature will arrive in an update to the Facebook iOS app as soon as today.

\"facebookhomechatheads\"Speaking today at the D: Dive into Mobile conference, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer and VP of Mobile Engineering Cory Ondrejka said that while the iOS edition of Chat Heads won\’t look much different than Android counterpart, it\’ll only be able to work within the Facebook app itself. This is contrasted to the Android version, which lets a user access his Chat Heads messages from any app on a compatible device. According the Schroepfer, the need to stay within the Facebook app is the result of \”a limitation of iOS.\”

As TechnologyGuide notes in its Facebook Home review, Chat Heads is one of the most impressive features of the Home app suite. It blends Facebook and SMS messages together and displays a bubble of a messenger\’s picture (hence, Chat Heads) right on screen instead of sending a typical notification. On compatible Android devices, those chat heads can then be moved around the edges of the screen at will and can be accessed at any time. The goal is to make messaging a simpler and more people-centric process.

Other announcements from Schreopfer and Ondrejka today included the news that the first of Facebook Home\’s monthly updates will arrive in \”the second week of May,\” and that the Facebook Home app itself will be available internationally in the Google Play store by the end of the day.

The pair further said that it is bringing Facebook\’s emoticon-like \”Stickers\” to its iOS messaging app, while the News Feed within the Facebook app for iPads will receive the visual redesign announced this past March. Those will both be included in today\’s update too.

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