Despite the original Facebook phone and the HTC First both being complete failures, Facebook isn’t giving up on the mobile hardware business. The latest patent shows Facebook has ideas in mind for a unibody, slim device that involves “co-molding the display with the body of a device.” It sounds like something HTC would do, but this Facebook’s patent, not HTC.
Facebook held its official event today announcing Facebook Home and revealed the HTC First, the first smartphone to run Facebook’s new UI. As mentioned previously, Facebook Home runs on top of Android and users will still have access to Google Play. You can pre-order the HTC First exclusively on AT&T starting today for $99 under a new two-year contract. It officially launches April 12 and here are the specs:
- 4.3-inch 720p display at 1280 x 720
- 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 16GB internal storage
- 5 megapixel rear-facing camera
- 1.6 megapixel front-facing camera
- WiFi, LTE, Bluetooth 4.0
- Facebook Home UI on top of Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
Just yesterday we saw pictures of the Facebook Phone’s hardware, but the software is what’s really exciting, right? Thanks to @evleaks and courtesy of 9to5 Google, we’ve got our first glimpse at what the custom Android skin is going to look like.
In the first picture you can see what’s likely to be an app drawer, complete with standard Google apps. There was some speculation that Facebook might pull an Amazon and cut ties with Google completely in the software, but that’s obviously not the case. Aside from the Google apps, we have the expected Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram apps. On the top of the app drawer, there are shortcuts for posting status updates, photos, and check ins on Facebook.
Well, if Facebook was trying to hide their phone before the April 4th announcement, they’ve officially failed. We’re getting our first look at the fabled device that’s going to run Facebook’s unique software courtesy of @evleaks on Twitter, and it’s apparently going to be called the HTC First. It is neither HTC’s first phone, nor Facebook’s first attempt at a phone, so I don’t completely understand the naming scheme, but I’m no marketing expert, so maybe I’m just missing something here.
Weird names aside, the First looks like a pretty slick, although generic, device. We can see a volume rocker on the side, a power button on the top, and three buttons along the bottom bezel, presumably a back, home, and menu button, in that order. The rumors say the phone will sport a 4.3 inch screen, and from this render, I’d say that looks pretty accurate. Either way, we only have a few days left before the official announcement. Anyone excited to see this phone in person?
Facebook recently sent out an invitation to an event on April 4th where they’ll be showing off their “new home on Android.” Well, we’ve got some new rumors about what that’s going to be a few days ahead of the event.
That home on Android is actually going to be called Facebook Home, and it’s going to be a forked version of Android specific to the Facebook phone(s). There’s no word on whether this will still feature traditional Google apps and be more of a heavy overlay like HTC’s Sense, or if Facebook is going all the way and completely cutting ties with Google like with the versions of Android that ship on Amazon’s Kindle devices. Considering how well the HTC ChaCha didn’t sell, though, I think Facebook is likely going to want to take the Amazon approach here and tweak the entire experience around Facebook, not just adding a handful of extra apps.
Aside from that, they’re still in discussion with carriers about the device, so hopefully we’ll learn more in a few days when it becomes official.
source: 9to5 Google
Facebook is planning something pretty big for a large unveiling on April 4th, according to their latest press invitation. What big thing, you may ask? Their “new home on Android.” What exactly does that mean? We don’t know, but we can make some pretty good guesses.
Facebook has recently been testing the waters with updates through their app outside of Google Play, so it makes sense that they may be launching something, like a phone that’s been in the rumor mill for ages. We’ve heard all kinds of rumors leak about the “Facebook phone,” and with Amazon’s success with their Kindle lineup, it wouldn’t be too hard to imagine Facebook taking another stab at the phone market, despite their first attempt not doing so well.
While all the signs point towards a Facebook phone announcement on April 4th, it’s important to remember they are still rumors. Facebook could just announce more changes to their Android application, or anything else. When the 4th rolls around, though, we’ll be sure to let you know.
source: The Verge
The HTC Myst (or Opera, depending on how far back you keep up with these phones) has recently come through the FCC, and it’s sporting four LTE bands that AT&T smartphones are generally seen with. Aside from that, the only other concrete details from this filing are dual-band WiFi antennas and Bluetooth 4.0. Nothing exciting, but at least we know the phone is more than just rumor. Of course, if the earlier rumors are true, the phone will have a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus clocked at 1.5 GHz under a 4.3 inch, 720p screen, as well as 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage, but no SD card slot. There’s nothing here that’s going to excite the enthusiast chasing the cutting edge of technology, but I think it’s a safe bet that’s not going to be the primary demographic of this phone.
We’ve been hearing about another Facebook phone since last November, and at that time it was codenamed “Opera UL.” Then last month, the codename “Myst” appeared. Either way, it looks like “Myst” is indeed the codename for the next Facebook phone that will be made by HTC. The specs have leaked again and they are a lot like what we heard last month, but with some minor changes and additions.
What’s different is the CPU. It’s still a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus, but now we are hearing it’s 1.5GHz , as opposed to 1.4GHz. The display is confirmed to be 4.3-inches and 720p, but we now know it will have a ppi of 320. Other new information is the RAM, which is 1GB, 16GB of internal storage (no microSD slot), both LTE and HSPA radios, and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. As to the camera, there isn’t anything different than what we already heard, a 5MP rear camera and 1.6MP front camera. Obviously these specs don’t scream high-end, but when you consider the target demographic, they don’t need to.
As to when this bad boy will become available, the latest rumor points to the spring.
Rumors of another Facebook phone surfaced last November and today we have some more news thanks to Twitter. Last year we heard that HTC was involved and the codename was “Opera UL.” Now we are hearing the codename is “Myst” and HTC is still involved. The specs are a little different from what we reported with the Opera UL. First of all the processor is now a dual-core 1GHz instead of 1.4GHz. It’s still a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro though. The display resolution was reported to be 720p (1280 x 720) and that still holds, but the display size has been revealed to be 4.3-inches. It still has an Adreno 305 GPU, but we also found out it will sport a 5MP rear camera and a 1.6MP front camera.
Forgive us if you have heard this before— but rumor has it that Facebook is all set to introduce its all-new smartphone at a special event sometime this week. According to MG Siegler of TechCrunch, it is unknown if the new smartphone is custom built or an operating system built to run on another manufacturer’s hardware (probably HTC), but he does have a significant hunch on what consumers could probably see in this smartphone. The most obvious likelihood is that the new Facebook phone would likely feature a customized version of Android similar to what Amazon has done with its Kindle Fire tablet probably because it would take too much development time to develop a new OS from scratch, plus having a customized version of Android means that it would have access to the vast library of apps and titles that already exist out there for the Android platform. Having an Android-based OS would make sense too since well you know… Facebook already has an affinity for the platform already.
While news of a Facebook phone is indeed exciting, the timing is a little unusual to say the least considering we just ended CES 2013 and all. Then again— maybe Facebook wanted to take some time and have the stage all to itself in the hopes of unveiling the next, great smartphone. One thing is for sure though: expectations will certainly be high among the millions and millions of mobile users out there. All eyes are now on you Facebook (and HTC!!!).
via: Android Headlines