12
Apr
fbmessenger

Today, both of Facebook's current apps have been updated to prepare for the arrival of Facebook Home. The main app merely added an extra permission that Home will eventually use. However, the real fun came to Messenger, which now has the ability to pop out Chat Heads, regardless of if you're using the replacement launcher.

fbchatheads

As you may recall from the Facebook Home launch event, chat heads are little bubbles that float over whatever you're doing and allow you to jump straight into a conversation no matter where you are in the OS. Just tap your friend's face and an IM window appears. Reply, then tap again to get rid of it. No more switching apps. It's a neat feature that makes a lot of sense. If you don't mind your friend's face watching you all the time.

Both updates are live on the Play Store and chat heads work right now. Go try them out!

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • Derek Duncan

    this is cool, because chatheads is arguably the better feature.

  • Finando Pangoldyck

    well, maybe f-home isn't right launcher for me. Updated app and messenger should be enough.

    • http://about.me/jason.johnson JJ

      Exactly what I'm thinking now. Chat heads was the one thing about Home that seemed interesting to me. I don't need my homescreen to be facebook posts, but the chat convenience seemed worth trying at least.

      • Sidharth

        Would be great if any developer can incorporate whatsapp in it as well.

  • didibus

    Can I use Facebook Messenger without a facebook account?

  • spacekobra

    I don't see it on my galaxy nexus. How does it work?

    EDIT: That was weird, it didn't work til I got a friend to send me a message. Now there is an option in the settings. Nevermind!

    • jpeg

      yeah, I'm on a Nexus 4 and not seeing it. Lame.

      • spacekobra

        Just get somebody to send you a message. That's how I got it to work. It's actually really good. Not as invasive as I thought it would be.

        • Loren Cogar

          Tried that and it acted like it always has. No changes.

          • nono68200

            Maybe you have to activate SMS/MMS function in settings of Facebook Messenger. ;)

          • Loren Cogar

            I would never use this app for sms/mms. I thought the chat heads were for chat notifications??

          • nono68200

            Yeah too. Have you activated Chat Heads in settings of Facebook Messenger?

          • Thanos

            There's no such an option.

          • Loren Cogar

            Had to be completely out of the app when I got a message, I thought they popped up in the messenger app as well. Working fine now.

          • Thanos

            I've done both things you suggested and it doesn't work... :(

          • http://twitter.com/wstrmn Marc

            How do I activate the SMS/MMS function? Don't see an option in the settings...

          • spacekobra

            Do you have your status bar visible? It only shows up if the status bar is visible.
            Also, check your notification settings.

            Like I said, it wasn't there at first then it worked after somebody sent me a message. :p

          • jpeg

            Yeah I'm on a N4. Doesn't work. Status bar is visible, I'm stock and unrooted, out of the app, with SMS/MMS activated in the messenger app. Still nothing. Oh well, i'm not going to waste more time trying to get a feature to work that I'd probably end up disabling anyway

          • http://www.Moridin.pl Moridin

            I can't get it to work. Been FBMing with friends for the past few hours and nothing helps.

          • spacekobra

            I can't help you man. :( Sorry! I've listed all the things I did to get it to work. Maybe it rolls out or something?

          • http://www.Moridin.pl Moridin

            Frickin' frustrating. Thanks.

          • spacekobra

            What phone do you have?

          • http://www.Moridin.pl Moridin

            UK Nexus 4. Second rev/batch.

          • spacekobra

            Seems like a bunch of people with N4's are reporting that it doesn't work. I wonder why.

          • http://www.Moridin.pl Moridin

            Yeah me too. Got it working on my wife's One X without any issues.

          • David M Whittley

            Make sure your launcher is not running in fullscreen!

          • Mike Evans

            Same.

      • Andrew

        Try going into settings and turning Chat Heads off, then turn it back on. It started working for me after that.

        • http://www.Moridin.pl Moridin

          I don't have that option at all.

    • http://twitter.com/quaffster Ming Tang

      Do you see the chat head bubble while you're in other apps? (http://mobilesyrup.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Screenshot_2013-04-12-10-50-39-Small.png)

      I don't see this at all. But apparently the writer from MobileSyrup.com's article has the feature. I think it might be cause he's running Sense, anyone wanna confirm?

      • spacekobra

        I see it some apps. Not all, I didn't see it while gaming :P

        • http://twitter.com/quaffster Ming Tang

          Damn. Wth! I don't see it at all. Maybe it's cause I'm running Paranoid Android...

          • spacekobra

            I'm on paranoid as well so it can't be that.
            Have you long pressed on a friends name and clicked "pop out chat head"?

          • akshay7394

            I don't even get that menu :'(
            It says I've updated on the Play Store but none of the Chat head related parts are showing up. Could the feature be US-only by some chance?

          • JLishere

            I'm in Canada. Chat heads appear on my Galaxy Nexus, but not on my friend's Nexus S - we have the same settings enabled in Messenger. It's weird.

          • akshay7394

            Yeah, it really is. :/

          • spacekobra

            Canadian as well. Galaxy Nexus.
            Maybe its a ram/ processor thing?

          • akshay7394

            Possible, that would make sense. I'm running it on a lower-end device. DAMN it. :( Chat heads is the one facebook feature i actually wanted ahaha.

          • akshay7394

            Nope, can't be a RAM/processor thing, a lot of people here are running Nexus 4's, who are complaining.

          • spacekobra

            Ok, this is my final guess. its a little unfair. Bear with me.

            Facebook is still a crappy developer and they got lucky with this one. :p

          • akshay7394

            Ahahaha.

            What I did find though, was that this still works: http://www.mirrorcreator.com/files/ETRZSMG9/com.facebook.orca.apk_links

            The earlier leaked messenger app.

            It worked after I cleared the data+cache of messenger app.

            Edit: Or at least, it's showing me the option to pop-out chat heads. Isn't actually doing so though.

          • http://twitter.com/quaffster Ming Tang

            Yep! I figured out the issue! Chat Heads doesn't play nice with Tablet UI! Just a heads up to anyone using Paranoid Android in Tablet UI!

          • spacekobra

            Good man.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tekken179 Arron Bailey

    Anyone running a custom rom with "fullscreen" enabled or Pie UI enabled status bar hidden etc. Will not show the chat heads.

    • spacekobra

      Doesn't show up if the status bar is hidden. So it won't pop up in games either.
      I like that, it means if I don't want to be disturbed while gaming I don't need to enter the settings.

  • http://twitter.com/gadgetuk Alan Clarke

    will 'home' be released to UK as well today? just got the other 2

  • http://youtube.com/user/CurelessSyn CurelessSynergy

    This is good. And it finally gives a reason to use Facebook Messenger as the texting app too.

  • xnifex

    Am I one of very few people who doesn't want to use the fb app or messenger app?

    • Loren Cogar

      I dunno, are you?

    • Ben

      No, not even close.
      But your comment isn't exactly relevant to the discussion here.

      It'd be like me going to a post about CM10.1 and saying, "Am I one of very few people who doesn't want to root or use CM10.1?"

    • fixxmyhead

      i have never even had a FB account

      • Loren Cogar

        Well, we're real proud of ya.

        • fixxmyhead

          Thanks

      • xnifex

        you win. i don't know many people other than my mom that doesn't have one. how do you do it? it's odd to see someone without an account

        • fixxmyhead

          I just don't care what people have to say

          • Paul Taylor

            Apart from yourself presumably.

    • selonmoi

      I am one also. I don't want anything that will increase Facebook's prominence, bypass normal notifications, or have any negative effect on battery life.

  • djlegion

    Cannot get it to work on my n4. :(

    • KanishkSingh

      Works fine on my n4.

      • http://www.facebook.com/babywarez Gerardo Sarabia Molina

        how?

        • KanishkSingh

          I updated the Facebook messenger app and Facebook main app, thats all I did. Automatically messages started popping up on the home screen like a overlay.
          After that I could see the chat head settings in the facebook messenger app, was not showing initially.

        • Paul Taylor

          Fine on my N4 too. Appeared as an upgrade in Play, so I upgraded.

    • Mike Evans

      Doesn't work for me on my N4 either.

    • Meredith Barthel

      It doesn't work on my N4, either. I wonder if it is because I use Go Launcher.

  • Loren Cogar

    Remember that press conference about a new Facebook News feed coming to phones and the website? Whatever happened with that? Dont know anyone who has gotten it on PC and there has been zero changes to the app.

    • nono68200

      I have new icons on my phone. For PC, they had some bugs... But they are implementing it now on PC too. ;)

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      I don't think there are substantial changes to the mobile app. In fact, the desktop app was inspired *by* the mobile one, kinda. However, I've gotten it on the web. I do think it's a pretty slow rollout, though. Hell, I still haven't gotten Graph Search, and I requested early access to that one.

      • akshay7394

        I requested Graph Search after i requested the News Feed. I got Graph Search first, in just a few days. It's been months since News Feed. :(

  • RitishOemraw

    Does the official facebook app still have that creepy (can download files without user permission) permission?

    What does it use that for? Should I be worried about it?

    • Evan

      I think there are two ways that could be used:
      1) Fetch images in the background so your load times when scrolling through the news feed are quicker
      2) pre-stage updates so you are always running the most recent version of the software.

      Since the app didn't auto-update itself, I would guess they are using it for the former.

  • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

    I updated and I don't see the chat "heads"

  • http://www.facebook.com/DanielMcKenzieJTraynor Daniel McKenzie J. Traynor

    Just updated that is awesome! :) (ignore the message in the pic, was my mate messing around haha)

  • Sidharth

    WTF. Facebook isn't compatible with my device. Though Facebook Messenger is working. Anyone having the same problem?

    • Sidharth

      BTW using International Galaxy S2

  • http://pctonic.net/ Ashutosh Mishra

    I think it's a little troubling Android allows one app to display information over another app, without rooting. While Chat Heads is very useful, I have a hunch that this feature will be abused by devs and incorporated into all kinds of apps.

    • Paul Taylor

      Well you had to give it an extra permission remember.

  • !xY !

    Seems they have changed Facebook Home staus to 'Coming Soon' from "Download on April 12" https://www.facebook.com/home

  • http://www.facebook.com/DanielMcKenzieJTraynor Daniel McKenzie J. Traynor

    Any idea when it's to hit the Play Store today...?

  • Nicolás Rezzano

    Hey guys, doesn't work here, how did you all enable it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/theantarsan Marcin Zawadzki

    Well... no change at all. Not any Chat Heads, nothing appeared in settings.

    • akshay7394

      Same here. Are you outside of the US by any chance? I'm trying to figure out if this is only-US

      • http://www.facebook.com/theantarsan Marcin Zawadzki

        Outside of US, yes. Poland, actually.

        • http://www.Moridin.pl Moridin

          Yeah, a guy in Serbia has it running on his stock UK Nexus 4 so that's not it. Another Serbian doesn't.

    • Christopher Theofilaktos

      Same here in Australia.

  • David M Whittley

    Is anyone else expiriencing problems with certain launchers? I can't see the chat heads on Buzz launcher, Nova Prime, sslauncher or TouchWiz! They appear in all the launqhers as soon as i open another app, but not on the home screen!!!

    • David M Whittley

      Update: You cannot use a launcher in fullscreen mode if you want chat heads to appear on the home screen.

  • http://www.Moridin.pl Moridin

    How do I enable chat heads on my Nexus 4?

    I tried deleting app data, deleting the apps, restarting, etc. and the option to enable chat heads is still not there in FBM's options.

    Help!

  • Alex

    Initially didn't work on my N4, not even by enabling it in settings and not even when someone sent me a message. it worked when i long pressed on any one conversation in the home screen of messenger and then chose 'POP OUT CHAT HEAD'...not sure if this makes it a permanent setting the next time that conversation continues...

  • bydavidrosen

    This is driving me nuts. Haha. T-Mobile Galaxy S3. Stock. Running Nova Launcher. Chat Heads isn't even an option. Facebook and Messenger are updated, Home is installed. Chad Heads is not an option anywhere. Just tried uninstalling all 3 and re installing Still not an option. I've had friend send me messages. Nothing.

  • GSfromBK

    I have an AT&T Galaxy S3 and I don't seem to have the Chat Heads, nor do I have the option to turn it on/off. I've deleted each of the 3 facebook apps and downloaded them again... Still the same issue. Any help available?

  • Christopher Theofilaktos

    Updated but the UI looks exactly the same and no chat heads :(. Galaxy S3 running Slim Bean 4.2.2, downloaded from the play store, also in Australia, might be that. Anyone got an APK?

  • Thanos

    I suspect that this is an account problem. All these who can't make it work (chat heads doesn't appear in the notification menu), could you please switch to another FB account (a friend's maybe) and check if it works? If i switch to my sister's account it works absolutely fine. Chat heads appears as a option in the notificantions menu.

    • http://www.Moridin.pl Moridin

      Any ideas how to solve it?

      • Thanos

        No clue.

        • http://www.Moridin.pl Moridin

          Pissing me off is what it's doing.

      • Bassdj

        No idea at the moment. Probably something on Facebook's end.

        • http://www.Moridin.pl Moridin

          Please let me know if you find anything at all.

          • Bassdj

            Definitely

      • Bassdj
        • http://www.Moridin.pl Moridin

          OK I installed this and almost everything works - the option to integrate SMS with FBM is not there.

          Will this update from Play once Facebook pushes out a new version?

          • Bassdj

            No it's a separate app. I'm Running synergy and have both options

    • Bassdj

      This is exactly what's going on...good call

    • GSfromBK

      Actually was having the same problem and came across this post as I was looking for an answer. So I created a new Facebook account to see if it would work, and it did. May be something in our account settings. Definitely not our phones. Good find @thanos... It was driving me insane.

  • http://www.twitter.com/andrewpalozzo Andrew Palozzo

    Put me in the same group. Updated messenger to latest version.. No Chat heads :-( nexus 4 stock. Android 4.2.2

  • akshay7394

    Does anybody know if the Facebook app is necessary for the Chat heads in the Messenger app to work?

  • http://www.productiveorganizer.com Kyith

    i like facebook messenger. i feel its an overall better OTT app then whatsapp. i think almost everything is better than that.

    chat heads i wonder if its patented by facebook. if its really good and people cannot copy this could be a big win for them

  • PopeFrancis

    I thought facebook messenger didn't require an account... I just signed up on it and it created a facebook account lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/mtate0408 Michael Tate

    My wife and I both have Razr Maxx phones and Nexus 7 tablets. Chat heads is working on both my devices, but not on either of my wife's devices and she has the exact same devices as me. Neither of us is rooted and she doesn't have the "Chat Heads" option in the notifications settings in FB Messenger on either device, but I do.

    It's got to be a FB setting.

  • bert bertyson

    Anyway to turn them off outside the app? Finding them exceptionally intrusive and annoying.

  • mathieu

    doesnt work on my galaxy hercules ...

  • http://www.facebook.com/nickolas.neal17 Nick Neal

    Does sending sms from the snap chat pop up menu use data or messaging rates?

  • enelson321

    I didn't have the chat heads until this morning. Suddenly, they're there. And I want them gone. There is no "chat heads" setting in either the messenger or facebook app OR in my home screen settings.... I have a galaxy S3. How do I turn the stupid things off?!?

  • Mohamed Mostafa

    i tried to install it on my Galaxy Grand, but it says this application is not available in you country!!!!!!!!!!!!! can any body help about that plz !!!