Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook unveiled what they call ‘Facebook Home’ which transforms eventually any smartphone into a “Facebook Phone”. Part App, Launcher & OS, the announcement went beyond just a single Facebook product as expected.
HTC also unveiled a Facebook-centric Smartphone built on Google’s Android OS and on an HTC handset at it’s Menlo Park campus today.
“Today we’re finally gonna talk about that facebook phone” Zuckerberg said in his opening monologue. “We’re going to talk about how you can transform your android phone into a great social phone”
“Our mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Open means having access to information and being able to learn about the world around you.”
Although the idea of “Facebook Phones” is not considered a threat to the Smartphone juggernauts such as Apple & Samsung hardware-wise, the usability and familiarity of Facebook features could entice many looking for a mid range, affordable smartphone.
The long rumored ‘Facebook Home’ experience brings Facebook to forefront of your Smartphone. Much more than a custom ‘launcher’, this interface has deep integration with your Facebook, Friends, Activities and features only found in Facebook.
As Mark says “The phone is centered around People not Apps.”
The first Android handsets that will be supported will be the HTC One, One X, Samsung S3, Note II, Galaxy S4.
Facebook Home will be available from the Google Play Store on Android phones on April 12th (US only initially) and eventually on Android tablets, Windows Phones and on the iPhone & iPad.
Here are the features of Facebook Home:
- ‘Chat heads’ instant personal messaging and grouping
- ‘Cover feed’ lock screen, a visually rich news feed before you even unlock
- Standard Android App launcher
- Quick messaging with ‘Chat heads’
- Unified messaging with ‘Chat head’ interface for standard text messaging Facebook Groups and Facebook messages
First standing for “Social First”. The first Smartphone to have Facebook Home preloaded.
Here is what we know about the hardware of the HTC First, the first “Facebook Phone”:
- 4.3inch display with 720HD resolution
- Snapdragon S4 Dual Core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 5MP rear and 1.6MP Front Facing Camera.
- Will come in Black, White, Red & Sky Blue.
It will be available exclusively on AT&T on April 12th for shockingly, only $99. Available for Preorder today.
Images via Ars Technica