Not Android Phone, But Android Homescreen Is On Facebook’s Agenda
There is no Facebook phone. According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook’s upcoming Android announcement is actually more of a home screen experience and not an actual device. That rumored HTC Myst? It’s just the first device to come from a partner, which, in this case is HTC.
The social network has been developing new software for mobile devices powered by Google’s Android operating system that displays content from users’ Facebook accounts on a smartphone’s home screen–the first screen visible when they turn on the device, people familiar with the situation said.
From the sounds of it, you’ll be thrown right into Facebook the moment the phone powers on. Reportedly, Facebook is working with other handset makers with hopes to bring the experience to additional devices.
Facebook will initially demonstrate the capability on smartphones from HTC, these people said, but has been working to reach similar arrangements with other device makers.
Facebook, which has said it has more than 650 million mobile users, is planning to make the app broadly available for all Android devices, these people said. Manufacturers must make some tweaks to the Android software to allow the Facebook app to take over the device’s home screen, they added.
Such changes by the manufacturer don’t violate the agreements those companies made with Google to preserve the consistency of the Android user experience, one of the people familiar with the matter said.
On Thursday, Facebook sent out invitations to a media event next week requesting recipients “come see our new home on Android.” Facebook and Google spokesmen declined to comment.
HTC declined to comment on its business relationship with Facebook. However, HTC noted that it previously launched the ChaCha phone, which had a button designated to posting photos directly to Facebook. That wasn’t really successful. HTC’s proprietary Sense interface for Android also included quite a bit of Facebook functionality in the past.
All will be revealed on April 4 now.