The HTC First (aka "Facebook phone") has been a bigger disappointment than Dwyane Wade in this year's NBA playoffs. AT&T even dropped the price to $0.99 (with a contract) a mere month after its release. When they realized that the price drop wasn't enough to increase sales, they decided to just discontinue the damn thing altogether.
Although the phone itself isn't doing so well, one feature from the Facebook-centric device that people actually seem to like is Chat Heads. On the HTC First, Chat Heads can pop up anywhere on the phone so you can stay connected to your friends no matter what you're doing.
Facebook's native application later received the same treatment, but the Chat Heads were constrained to use only within the app, not throughout the whole OS. Inspired by this, Paranoid Android created a Chat Heads feature for their custom ROM called Halo—but it requires you to root and flash the ROM. Now, for those running a stock ROM, your Chat Heads are finally here.
Android developer Rob Joseph has created a Chat Heads-like app in Floating Notifications. While the app is currently in alpha, it works great on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
Before installing, first make sure you have "Unknown Sources" checked, which can be found in Settings -> Security.
To install it, simply head over to the XDA thread and download the newest version of his APK files (located at the bottom of the page). Right now, the newest one is 4r1, which you can download directly right here.
Once you download the application, you'll be prompted to head over to your Accessibility settings and turn on Floating Notifications. Once it's enabled, you'll see a stack of Chat Heads show up, which you can then move anywhere on the screen.
In the settings, you can change things such as the theme, the size of the icon, the font size, and whether or not you want the Chat Heads to show up on your lockscreen.
You can also select which applications you want to use for the notifications. Every time you receive a notification, the blue icon will buzz. Then, all you have to do is tap it to see them.
Again, the application is currently in alpha, so it may be prone to crashing and a few other small issues. Try it out and let us know how it works for you.
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