Well, it isn’t exactly a Facebook phone, but it has the capability of turning any Android smartphone into one. We’re talking about the new Facebook Home, which just got announced officially. Simply put, it is an Android launcher – replacing the stock interface of an Android device it is installed on with a new one, built around Facebook social networking from the ground up.
As Mark Zuckerberg himself puts it, Facebook Home is designed around people instead of prioritizing apps like other phone interfaces do. By doing so, the software aims to deliver a more personal experience to Facebook users. At the same time, it should be easy to use with its minimalist, simple interface. As soon as the phone is turned on, the user’s list of notification appears with their profile picture at the bottom. Need to dismiss something? Then all it takes is a swipe to the side. A swipe up brings the list of all installed applications.
Something that’s unique to Facebook Home is the Chat Heads feature (and no, we aren’t making that name up). When you’re in a chat with someone, it puts an icon with their picture in the screen’s corner for quick and easy access. There is even a counter that shows how many lines of text you’ve missed.
Facebook Home will be available only on select smartphones at first, but it should spread to many more after its release. That includes both smartphones and tablets. April 12 is the day when Facebook Home will land on the Play Store.
HTC First announced, coming exclusively to AT&T on April 12th for $99.99
Continuing its obsession with the number one, HTC has officially announced the First, an Android device with a bit more Facebook influence than most other smartphones we’ve used in the past — including other handsets given preferential treatment from the social media network during the last four years. HTC’s Peter Chou and AT&T’s Ralph de la Vega took the stage at the event to announce the phone, which is the world’s first Home-optimized device. What exactly that means remains to be seen, but HTC’s Chou indicated it will be a “unique experience.”
There were no specs announced for the device, other than it having LTE, of course. But, earlier leaks have indicated it will be 4.3-inch, 720p mid-range phone, not threatening the HTC One by any stretch of the imagination. It will be available on April 12th exclusively in the US on AT&T for just $99.99