Facebook has now brought its chat heads feature — first introduced for some Android phones as part of Facebook Home — to iPhone and iPad users.
Facebook Home — a new Facebook-centric software skin containing custom homescreens and widgets — was released on Friday in Google Play for the following Android smartphones: the HTC One, One X, and One X Plus and the Samsung Galaxy S3. It also ships aboard the new HTC First phone, and it will be downloadable for the Galaxy S4 when that phone becomes available early next week. Facebook also plans to release a version of Home for Android tablets over the next several months.
Essentially, the chat heads feature — now offered for the iPhone and iPad in Facebook for iOS 6.0 — allows users to continue chatting with their friends while completing other actions, such as scrolling through photos.
When a friend messages a user, the friend’s profile picture pops up in a bubble in the upper right hand corner of the screen, alerting the user to a new message. The user can then click on the bubble to respond to the chat and then immediately return to the action that he or she was previously doing.
Facebook Home users are able to see the chat heads even when they do not have the Facebook app running, but this is not the case for iOS users.
However, the iOS 6.0 update also gives iPhone users two other new features: the ability to insert big smiley icons called “stickers” into messages, and a cleaner and more easily accessible News Feed.
The 6.0 update is currently available in Apple’s App Store.