Facebook has updated its Home launcher with its first new major feature: a favorites tray that lets users keep a persistent set of their most frequently used apps on the screen. The feature, which first leaked last month, is available to people who use Home and install the latest Facebook update; the separate Home app has not been updated. Facebook has previously promised frequent periodic updates to its launcher, which was introduced earlier this year for a limited selection of Android phones.
The change doesn't affect the core Home screen. Instead, the favorites dock shows up on your full list of apps, pinning a handful of them permanently to the bottom of that list so you don't have to hunt for your phone or browser icon. It's a minor concession to a more traditional phone OS experience on a launcher based around relentless social integration. Facebook is also soon supposed to be unveiling another new feature — which allows users to quickly reach a list of their most frequent contacts with Chat Heads — but there's no sign of it here.
Besides changes to Home, the Facebook update includes stability fixes and the ability to send multiple photos in a single message. Facebook is also already planning future Home updates: we've been told it's working on folder and widget support, two of the most obvious missing features in the UI.